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Science, Art Come Together As International Visualization Challenge Winners Announced (PHOTOS)


First Posted: 02/ 3/2012 10:53 am Updated: 02/ 5/2012 4:36 pm

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  • Photography 1st Place Metabolomic Eye Bryan William Jones University of Utah Moran Eye Center

  • Illustration Honorable Mention Variable-Diameter Carbon Nanotubes Joel Brehm University of Nebraska, Lincoln

  • Interactive Games Honorable Mention Powers of Minus Ten Laura Lynn Gonzalez Green-Eye Visualization

  • Illustration People's Choice Separation of a Cell Andrew Noske and Thomas Deerinck The National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research; Horng Ou and Clodagh O'Shea, Salk Institute

  • Photography People's Choice The Cliff of the Two-Dimensional World Babak Anasori, Michael Naguib, Yury Gogotsi, Michel W. Barsoum Drexel University

  • Photography Honorable Mention Microscopic Image of Trichomes on the Skin of an Immature Cucumber Robert Rock Belliveau

  • Illustration Honorable Mention Tumor Death-Cell Receptors on Breast Cancer Cell Emiko Paul and Quade Paul, Echo Medical Media; Ron Gamble, UAB Insight

  • Interactive Games 1st Place Foldit Seth Cooper, David Baker, Zoran Popović, Firas Khatib, Jeff Flatten Center for Game Science, University of Washington

  • Illustration Honorable Mention Exploring Complex Functions Using Domain Coloring Konstantin Poelke, Konrad Polthier Free University of Berlin


By: Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Published: 02/02/2012 02:09 PM EST on LiveScience

From the dark-matter web of the universe to the rainbow of a mouse's retina, a new trove of award-winning science images reveals little-seen worlds.

The winners of the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, announced today (Feb. 2) turn dry data into vivid imagery. The informational poster "The Cosmic Web," for example, used simulations and algorithms to create a fiery, beautiful representation of matter in the universe through time. The image, by Johns Hopkins University cosmologist Miguel Angel Aragon-Calvo, won a spot on the cover of the Feb. 3 issue of the journal Science, which co-sponsors the contest with the National Science Foundation.

The contest also includes interactive games. One honoree this year created one called "Build-a-Body," in which players can drag and drop organs into a virtual human body, learning anatomy and playing surgeon. Another game allows players to "zoom in" to the human body and look at individual cells.

This year's winner in the photography category is a stunning photograph of a mouse's eye. Using a technique called computational molecular phenotyping, University of Utah neuroscientist Bryan William Jones reveals the metabolic diversity of the cells in the creature's retina. [See the Winning Images]

Another amazing close-up photograph captures the trichomes on the skin of a young cucumber. These vegetable defenses are tiny sharp spikes filled with bitter compounds to send plant-eaters running.

The contest, in its ninth year, had 212 entries. Judges picked those they felt had the most impact, the most effective communication, and the most originality. The goal is to honor recipients who use visuals to communicate the complexities of scientific research.

"The talent of these award winners is remarkable," Monica Bradford, the executive editor of the journal Science, said in a statement. "These winners communicate science in a manner that not only captures your attention, but in many instances strives to look at different ways to solve scientific problems through their varied art forms."

You can follow LiveScience senior writer Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook.

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Filed by Travis Korte  |  Report Corrections