Seeing visions: Science’s annual visual challenge – in pictures

Each year, Science Magazine and the National Science Foundation host the International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.  They have now announced the winners of its 2011 International Science & Engineering Visual Challenge.  Here now are two of the truly inspiring and amazing entries. Yep, my pick, you might and probably would make a different selection, so why not pop on over and check them all out.

Metabolomic Eye (First Place, Photography). This photo graph, taken by neuroscientist Bryan Jones of the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center (MEC) in Salt Lake City, may look like a piece of candy. But it’s actually a metabolic look at the wide diversity of cells in the mouse eye—in all, 70 different types of cells, from muscles to retina, each colored a unique shade.

To map out the tissues in this mouse’s eye, Jones turned to a technique called computational molecular phenotyping (CMP). This approach, pioneered by Robert Marc, also at MEC, takes advantage of the unique array of molecules in all cells in a tissue. “Within a cell type, there is a very narrowly regulated fingerprint that defines who that cell is and what that cell does,” Jones says. In this case, he probed the relative concentrations of several common organic molecules.

The Cliff of the Two-Dimensional World

Babak Anasori, Michael Naguib, Yury Gogotsi, Michel W. Barsoum

Drexel University

This landscape, which looks like a red-rock bluff straight out of Utah, isn’t a geologic feature. Instead, it’s a nanostructured material made from ultrathin layers of titanium-based compounds and seen under an electron microscope.

This of course is just a teaser, there is lots more including some cool games, so go check it all out.


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