Serotonin is a small molecule that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being. It's made from the amino acid tryptophan, and it functions as a neurotransmitter; a molecule that carries messages from one neuron to another in the nervous system. Serotonin is found in both the gut, where it regulates intestinal functions, and the brain, where it helps to regulate mood, appetite, and sleep. It's a huge target of antidepressant drugs, which aim to increase serotonin levels.
The Chemical Structure of Serotonin
Color Attempt #1
For my first attempt at a beaded serotonin molecule, I chose colors that I like because those colors make me happy. So I started with matte purple beads for the carbon atoms on a dark purple beaded background, with red luster beads for the nitrogen atoms and gold for the oxygen atom.
The result ended up much darker than I had anticipated. It's an interesting color scheme, but it doesn't scream "happy" the way that I had wanted it to.
Color Attempt #2
It's a much happier molecule, but I wasn't as satisfied with the interplay between the pink and purple beads, as these beads are too close in value and tend to blend into each other. Plus, for this molecule to be truly happy, it needs to sit on a bed of bright and sunny background beads.
Third Time's a Charm!
It's by far my favorite of the three, and I'll definitely be working with this color scheme again!
Next time, I'll have to try beaded dopamine.