ATP, Episode 4

You can thank the students in Molecular Techniques for about a third of this page. My colleague Jill Keeney is teaching the course and there is a writing component for the students. I have had several conversations with Jill about this story over the last several months so, she is familiar with the gradual evolution of the story. She had the bright idea to show her students in Techniques the various iterations of the script as well as the first three pages of art so they could getĀ  a look at the ugly process of writing about science. The kids in the class (Alyssa Fazi, Kat Connolly, Nathan Bicher, Shannon Harrington, and Jared Haidet) also gave me plenty of feedback. They were particularly good at spotting things I was hoping no one would notice. For example, on this page, they wondered if readers might be confused by the “disappearing” negative charge when you combine the phosphate groupĀ  and ADP. I had hoped to just skate on by this (I can be lazy) but their nudge provided me with an opportunity for humor that pays homage to one of my favorite bits from Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail. There are a few other improvements in upcoming pages that I will credit to the Techniques class.

In the “what was he thinking?” department, let’s take a look at the top of the page. The dramatic moment of pushing the phosphate and ADP together was meant to serve multiple purposes. First, it draws attention to the fact that the negative charges on this molecule are hard to stick together and set-up the fact that they pop off pretty easily. Second, I hope having the illustration consume half the page indicates the magnitude of energy we are talking about. Third, it was fun character moment as Wilbur and Harvey get to act out the metaphor of their relationship. Fourth, it was an excuse do draw some Kirby krackle. And finally, I got…to…write…in…halting… indicate…a..physical…struggle. Whew.

You can read the story from the beginning in the ATP story post.


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