I shot my second cover story for Genome Technology in October. They sent me to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD to photograph Dr. Bryan Traynor. He, along with his crack team of researchers, discovered genetic markers for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. I love science and research and labs, so it was a fascinating assignment for me. The good doctor even taught me something pretty interesting about the human brain and how it can function during a photo shoot. Apparently, people use different parts of their brain for different types of smiles. If you’re being told to smile or are smiling just for the camera, you’re using one part, but you use a completely different part when you smile involuntarily- hence the magic of the genuine smile. It can’t be beat.
Dr. Traynor is seen here with a brand new machine that is much more powerful than its predecessors and is changing the face of genome research. He reckoned it’s so new that it hadn’t really been photographed outside the facility in which it was manufactured.