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Giving Tree

mark prent

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Many of you have already spoken with our Technical Wizard and C.E.O., Mark

Prent; and those of you who have, no doubt have found him to be a practical resource of almost unfathomable depth. However, significantly fewer are aware of his professional history and reputation as an artist, so I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Mark Prent, the sculptor.


Born in Poland in 1947 and educated at Sir George Williams University in Montreal, Canada; Mark has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1978) and seventeen Canada Council Grants (to name just two examples.) He was honored in 1975 with an invitation from the Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst Guest Artist in Berlin Program, and spent nearly two years in Germany. His work has been exhibited extensively all over the world, and his solo shows have been featured at

such prestigious institutions as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Holland; the Akademie Der Kunst in Berlin, Germany; and the Musee d'art contemporain in Montreal, Canada.


Three documentary films have been made in Canada about his work, as well as volumes of newspaper and magazine articles, catalogues and commentaries. He has lectured and taught workshops in hundreds of institutions over the years and continues to do so. He regularly presents the life-molding workshop conducted at the bi-annual Sculpture Conferences of the International Sculpture Center which is head-quartered in Washington D.C.


In the early 1980's Prent moved with his wife to the U.S. and settled in the beautiful Champlain Valley of Vermont where they developed Pink House Studios Inc. as a way of marketing his technical expertise and providing the superior products and customer support that he knew, from his own experience, was so badly needed in the field of life-molding.

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cool stuff giving tree. i like this alot. im just puzzled as to why the first one is called what it is. have any info on that? or am i just mistaking the word for something else.

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A quick and simple introduction to Drosophila melanogaster




What is it and why bother about it?

Drosophila melanogaster is a fruit fly, a little insect about 3mm long, of the kind that accumulates around spoiled fruit. It is also one of the most valuable of organisms in biological research, particularly in genetics and developmental biology. Drosophila has been used as a model organism for research for almost a century, and today, several thousand scientists are working on many different aspects of the fruit fly. Its importance for human health was recognised by the award of the Nobel prize in medicine/physiology to Ed Lewis, Christiane Nusslein-Volhard and Eric Wieschaus in 1995.

Why work with Drosophila?

Part of the reason people work on it is historical - so much is already known about it that it is easy to handle and well-understood - and part of it is practical: it's a small animal, with a short life cycle of just two weeks, and is cheap and easy to keep large numbers. Mutant flies, with defects in any of several thousand genes are available, and the entire genome has recently been sequenced.

Life cycle of Drosophila

The drosophila egg is about half a millimeter long. It takes about one day after fertilisation for the embryo to develop and hatch into a worm-like larva. The larva eats and grows continuously, moulting one day, two days, and four days after hatching (first, second and third instars). After two days as a third instar larva, it moults one more time to form an immobile pupa. Over the next four days, the body is completely remodelled to give the adult winged form, which then hatches from the pupal case and is fertile after another day. (timing is for 25°C; at 18°, development takes twice as long.)

Research on Drosophila

Drosophila is so popular, it would be almost impossible to list the number of things that are being done with it. Originally, it was mostly used in genetics, for instance to discover that genes were related to proteins and to study the rules of genetic inheritance. More recently, it is used mostly in developmental biology, looking to see how a complex organism arises from a relatively simple fertilised egg. Embryonic development is where most of the attention is concentrated, but there is also a great deal of interest in how various adult structures develop in the pupa, mostly focused on the development of the compound eye, but also on the wings, legs and other organs.

The Drosophila genome

Drosophila has four pairs of chromosomes: the X/Y sex chromosomes and the autosomes 2,3, and 4. The fourth chromosome is quite tiny and rarely heard from. The size of the genome is about 165 million bases and contains and estimated 14,000 genes (by comparison, the human genome has 3,300 million bases and may have about 70,000 genes; yeast has about 5800 genes in 13.5 million base bases). The genome was (almost) completely sequenced in 2000, and analysis of the data is now underway.

Polytene Chromosomes

These are the magic markers that first put Drosophila in the spotlight. As the fly larva grows, it keeps the same number of cells, but needs to make much more gene product. The result is that the cells get much bigger and each chromosome divides hundreds of times, but all the strands stay attached to each other. The result is a massively thick polytene chromosome, which can easily be seen under the microscope.

Even better, these chromosomes have a pattern of dark and light bands, like a bar code, which is unique for each section of the chromosome. As a result, by reading the polytene bands, you can see what part of the chromosome you are looking at. Any large deletions, or other rearrangements of part of a chromosome can be identified, and using modern nucleic acid probes, individual cloned genes can be placed on the polytene map.

The standard map of the polytene chromosome divides the genome into 102 numbered bands (1-20 is the X, 21-60 is the second, 61-100 the third and 101-102 the fourth); each of those is divided into six letter bands (A-F) and those are subdivided into up to 13 numbered divisions (the picture above shows band 57). The location of many genes is known to the resolution of a letter band, usually with a guess to the number location (e.g. 42C7-9, 60A1-2). The polytene divisions don't have exactly the same length of sequence in them, but on average, a letter band contains about 300kb of DNA and 15-25 genes.

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i also forgot to date these sculptures... around early 1980's... when most of the normal sculpting materials that you use weren't nearly as high quality or widely available until THIS GUY made them available to you.


so yeah.. this shit is from around 1980's thats why the first one is called what it was... cuz it was SOOO important then, when the project started. and such... trust me... if you read up on this guy, he was setting world standards for free speech, not just for canada, where the guy is from.



some people think that art is alot different than it really is.

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