Arts and Science Exhibition Organized by Princeton University Showcases Wonderful Patterns of...

Arts and Science Exhibition Organized by Princeton University Showcases Wonderful Patterns of Fungus, Dirt and Parasites

The very thought of beautiful things never remind us of fruit fly ovaries or a fungus garden. But to a scientist, exploring these strange and fascinating specimens can reveal stunning patterns.

This image won first place and is the work of  Princeton postdoctoral researcher Sara Sadri. Named 'Watermarks,' the images traces the complex patterns created by water moving back and forth on New Jersey's Atlantic coast
This image won first place and is the work of Princeton postdoctoral researcher Sara Sadri. Named ‘Watermarks,’ the images traces the complex patterns created by water moving back and forth on New Jersey’s Atlantic coast

And now everyone has the chance to enjoy these stunning patterns at annual exhibition organized by Princeton University in New Jersey, which brings out the art hidden in science.

The exhibit consists of both still images and video of artistic merit created during the course of scientific research.

'Portrait of the Artist in the Air Shower' won third prize in the Art of Science competition. The image was taken during a 20-second blast of air that removes tiny pieces of debris when scientists enter the clean room
‘Portrait of the Artist in the Air Shower’ won third prize in the Art of Science competition. The image was taken during a 20-second blast of air that removes tiny pieces of debris when scientists enter the clean room

It also hopes to open a window through which the general public can appreciate both art and science – two fields that for differing reasons can feel threatening to the non-expert.
‘Art of Science imagery has universal appeal, across cultures, languages, and age groups,’ the organisers claim. ‘

The image of a 'Fruit Fly Factory' shows cross sections of ten ovaries from a female fruit fly. Each ovary acts as an 'assembly line,' with each egg (yellow circles) being formed as it works its way to the larger end of the ovary. The image was created by Yogesh Goyal, Bomyi Lim, Miriam Osterfield, and Stas Shvartsman
The image of a ‘Fruit Fly Factory’ shows cross sections of ten ovaries from a female fruit fly. Each ovary acts as an ‘assembly line,’ with each egg (yellow circles) being formed as it works its way to the larger end of the ovary. The image was created by Yogesh Goyal, Bomyi Lim, Miriam Osterfield, and Stas Shvartsman

‘Powerful imaging tools can now capture our world in ways never before contemplated and unintentionally produce aesthetically interesting visual effects.

‘When viewed through the lens of art, these images can further man’s concept of what it means to be human, enhance our appreciation of the natural world, and enrich our cultural heritage.’

This piece, titled 'Angel, shows a close up of the protective coatings of hydroxyapatite that are durable, but invisible. To control the growth of the mineral, researcehrs add a polymer (polyacrylic acid), which adsorbs on the growing crystal. In this image, the polyacrylic acid particles show exotic forms
This piece, titled ‘Angel, shows a close up of the protective coatings of hydroxyapatite that are durable, but invisible. To control the growth of the mineral, researcehrs add a polymer (polyacrylic acid), which adsorbs on the growing crystal. In this image, the polyacrylic acid particles show exotic forms

More than 30 submissions were received from undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, and alumni. Out of them only 44 still images and 12 videos were selected.

The title of this image paraphrases Lewis Wolpert's declaration: 'It is not birth, marriage, or death, but gastrulation, which is truly the most important time in your life.' 'Gastrulation' is the process by which, through coordinated cell shape changes and movements, an embryo takes form. This image shows a transverse view through a gastrulating fruit fly embryo
The title of this image paraphrases Lewis Wolpert’s declaration: ‘It is not birth, marriage, or death, but gastrulation, which is truly the most important time in your life.’ ‘Gastrulation’ is the process by which, through coordinated cell shape changes and movements, an embryo takes form. This image shows a transverse view through a gastrulating fruit fly embryo
The 'Let It Snow' image on the left shows a group of beetles playing in a shower of flour as scientists investigate how parasites, which infect the beetles, change their metabolic rate.
The ‘Let It Snow’ image on the left shows a group of beetles playing in a shower of flour as scientists investigate how parasites, which infect the beetles, change their metabolic rate.
 the American pika, sometimes thought of as the 'canary' of climate change as its absence reveals temperature fluctuations
the American pika, sometimes thought of as the ‘canary’ of climate change as its absence reveals temperature fluctuations

Zach Donnell, a microbiology student explains that the exhibit shows how art and science are inter-related.

‘While the scientific methods behind the exhibit strive for objectivity and consensus, everyone’s individual response to the images is subjective and highly personal,’ he said.

Observing this green algae leaf under a standard microscope only reveal limited detail, as conventional images are flat and two-dimensional. But thisimage here shows a volume slice of the leaf: two cell layers. One highlighted in blue and the other in green
Observing this green algae leaf under a standard microscope only reveal limited detail, as conventional images are flat and two-dimensional. But thisimage here shows a volume slice of the leaf: two cell layers. One highlighted in blue and the other in green

Sara Sadri, a postdoc in Civil and Environmental Engineering bagged the first prize for her image dubbed ‘Watermarks’.

James Waters, a student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology came second with his image ‘Fungus among us’. The image reveals a microscopic view of a fungus growing on debris within an ant colony.

Third place went to Yasmin Afsar, a graduate student of Electrical Engineering for his image ‘Portrait of the artist in the air shower. The picture was shot during a 20-second blast of air that removes tiny pieces of debris when scientists enter the clean room.

This is the seventh Princeton University Art of Science competition but the first to include a category of video.
Sabine Petry, assistant professor of molecular biology was declared the topper of the video award and received  a  GoPro camera for her work ‘Microtubules branch out.’

‘So much of science and engineering involves video or animation these days that it was inevitable we would include it in Art of Science,’ said Dan Quinn, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering who is one of the 2014 exhibit organizers.

‘Since a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth approximately 30,000 words per second, so adding a video component to Art of Science was a no-brainer.’

Audience at the opening reception for the physical gallery in May was asked to cast their vote.

Of 185 ballots cast, ‘Fruit fly factory’ bagged the first place and the credit goes to Yogesh Goyal, Bomyi Lim, Miriam Osterfield, Stas Shvartsman, of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

The People’s Choice award for video went to ‘Plenty of Fish’ by Colin Twomey and Haishan Wu of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The physical gallery of the 2014 exhibit will be on view in the Friend Center on the Princeton University campus through the end of April 2015.

A Tesla coil takes is pictured in 'Now That I Have Your Attention,' a photo created by by Omelan Stryzak, manager of undergraduate labs at Princeton and graduate alumnus Bart McGuyer. This imagescaptures the plasma filaments that discharge when high voltage is applied to the coil
A Tesla coil takes is pictured in ‘Now That I Have Your Attention,’ a photo created by by Omelan Stryzak, manager of undergraduate labs at Princeton and graduate alumnus Bart McGuyer. This imagescaptures the plasma filaments that discharge when high voltage is applied to the coil

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