Touching The Human Neuron

Publisher's Comment

Welcome to the Journal of Biocommunication’s issue 41-1.

This represents our second issue designed for our new mixed publishing format. By definition, open-access literature is online, digital, and is free of charge. This new JBC publishing model supports those authors and content creators who wish to retain a traditional copyright to their work. However, this new publishing model also supports open access articles written by authors who are reporting on grant-funded research. Many funding sources, government agencies, universities, and foundations now require all supported research to be published in open access, peer-reviewed journals. Those articles and columns that are licensed under this open access Creative Commons licensing will have an open access icon appearing in the article immediately following the article's Abstract. At the end of each open access article, the specific Creative Commons license will be designated.

In “25 Years Ago in JBPA/JBP” Tom Merrill reviews content from JBP Vol. 59 No. 3 (1991). Remarkably, the column itself is now 25 years old. We thank Tom for his dedication to the BCA through the years, his keen editorial work, and for the Silver Anniversary of his column. Thanks Tom.

Authors Grace I-Hsuan Hsu, et al. have written an informative patient education article, "Design of Customized Mobile Application for Patient Adherence to Oral Anticancer Medications Utilizing User-Centered Design." The article reviews the rationale and development of a mobile app designed to improve a patient's adherence and compliance to oral anticancer medications. The authors describe their experience in developing the app that focuses on a welcoming user-centered design.

JBC 41-1 also features “Visualizing Morphogenesis with the Processing Programming Language” written by Avik Patel, Amar Bains, Richard Millet, and Tamira Elul. The article discusses a Java-based software language called Processing, which was developed at MIT Media Lab to simulate cellular mechanisms in embryonic tissues. These authors describe tools from the arts and technology fields that could help biologists and artists create effective visualizations that communicate the dynamics of morphogenesis to a broader audience. 

In "Touching The Human Neuron..." authors R. Scott Riddle, Daniel Wasser, and Michael McCarthy describe an innovative method of real time interaction with high-resolution cellular models using GLASS© technology. The authors use zStack data sets, which allow for real-time interaction of low polygon and direct surface models. The article also discusses potential educational and clinical applications of a wearable, interactive, user-centric, augmented reality visualization of cellular structures.

Amy Sojka, Kevin Brennan, Evelyn Maizels, and Christine Young have written "The Science Behind G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) and Their Accurate Visual Representation in Scientific Research." GPCRs play a central role in many physiological processes, including neurological, cardiovascular, endocrine, and reproductive functions. This paper strives to provide an introduction to current GPCR science, and to identify visual approaches to communicate select aspects of GPCR structure and function.

Our JBC Gallery features the award winning images exhibited in AMI’s Salon exhibition at their 2016 annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

We feature two complete Showcases in this issue. These Showcases include the works of AMI's Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Gary Schnitz (2014) and Marcia Hartsock (2015). The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Association of Medical Illustrators, and it serves to recognize a member for their life's work. In presenting this Award, the AMI recognizes an individual who has enriched our lives and has advanced the profession. So take a look at Gary's and Marcia's illustrations.

We rely on our readership for feedback about the Journal, and we invite you to share your thoughts with us about our columns and articles. We always appreciate your suggestions for improvement.


Gary Schnitz, MA, CMI, FAMI
Chair, Journal Management Board


Gary Schnitz is Past President and Past Chair of the Board of the Association of Medical Illustrators. He is a recipient of AMI’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a Past President of the Vesalius Trust. He is a board certified medical illustrator living in Carmel, Indiana.

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