July 5, 2022

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The Art that keeps Science

Last week, the International Contemporary Art Fair, ARCO, was held in Madrid and what does Science have to do with art? Nothing, only that there are a number of scientists who are also artists. They create amazing images while exploring the world around them.

These images come from the Art of Science awards of the Walter and Eliza Hall Medical Institute, which annually celebrate the incredible beauty of medical research.

This is not a cactus WINNER 2012 | This striking image shows the microscopic architecture of the developing mammary gland. The hollow of the branching duct is filled with red-stained precursors of the epithelial cells. The green spot marks the support layer that surrounds the basal cells. This research will help scientists understand how normal breast tissues can become breast cancer. (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Dr. Ana Rios)

Vessel webs FINALIST 2010 | This image shows the delicate complexity in the development of the blood vessels of the eye in the form of a spider web. The cells in the vessels will be depleted during development in a process called apoptosis or programmed cell death (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Dr. Leigh Coultas)

Heart in science WINNER 2013 | The set of coronary vessels is an integral part of our circulatory system. The blood vessels that cross the heart are red, while muscle cells appear blue. The researchers hope to understand how it could reverse the damage to blood vessels or renew them to prevent heart attacks or treat diseases (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Dr. Ann Rios and Dr. Christine Beben)

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No guts, no glory FINALIST 2012 | This intricate structure is part of the midgut of a mosquito, where an important stage develops in the life cycle of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium. By blocking the development of the parasite in the host, a new objective could be achieved in the fight against malaria. (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Fiona Angrisano)

A face of embryogenesis FINALIST 2010 | The vibrant green and blue cells of this image tell the molecular history of a developing organism. The cells of a mouse embryo have been spotted to indicate the presence of DNA replication complexes, weaving a history of how a single cell ultimately results in a fully formed organism. (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Dr. Andrew Kueh)

Circle of death FINALIST 2013 | Discovering compounds that could be used to treat any disease has become an easier task thanks to robots. This pattern was made by a small drop of a chemical compound arranged in a plate where a thin layer of breast cancer cells was growing. Gout fell on the bottom of the plaque, causing instant death of the cells that grew there (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Dr. Karl Leuchowius)

Molecular plaid WINNER 2010 | Scientists use computers to study proteins that have been identified as potential therapeutic agents. Reminiscent of modern art, this image emerges by computer, nothing useful for scientists but something beautiful is created. (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Dr. Brian Smith)

Lungberry WINNER 2013 | This purple image shows the early stages of lung development, in which the pulmonary branches bloom outward to create a breathing surface. Scientists are studying the normal process of lung development, including how lung stem cells create all types of lung cells and determine how lung cancers develop. (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Laura Galvis)

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Color by numbers FINALIST 2013 | This image was created using a computer program to identify and measure the open areas between the blood vessels of the retina. The presentation of these data in a graphic and colorful way allows scientists to identify subtle differences in the development of the eye that occur due to genetic variations, being able to highlight possible therapeutic targets for the treatment of patients with diseases that affect their vision. (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute: Dr. Lachlan Whitehead)