Threestory Studio created the cover illustration for the edition of Molecular Cell that was published online today. It's the latest in a series of scientific journal covers we have designed. The research is the work of the Doudna Lab at U.C. Berkeley.
Why butterflies? Apparently, there is a receptor protein (called STING) with potential for cancer treatment that sends signals by changing shape much like a butterfly moving its wings. You can see the rough outline of the molecule in the wings of the largest butterfly. Philip Kranzusch from the Doudna Lab was my collaborator on the project and deserves credit for the original idea.
You can see the full paper on ScienceDirect.
Note: the image here is from our final mockup - the image you see on the Molecular Cell site may differ slightly.