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Beautiful Science

They unveiled the winners of the Wellcome Image Awards for 2011 Wednesday, and… what? You don’t know what the Wellcome Images are? Oh, well, you’ll like this.

Wellcome Images is a London-based (and online) collection of photos of the sciences, covering everything from genetics to surgery to disease. The images are, in essence, art based on scientific imaging, like microscopic images of embryos and bacteria and body parts and other things that take on a certain beauty when scanned and digitized and magnified and illuminated.

This year’s winners include pyramidal neurons that look like a multicolored forest of denuded trees in a Tim Burton nightmare, proteins in a thale cress seedling stem that has a kind of twisted mesh look to it, a mouse retina that looks like a black-light poster you’d have bought at Spencer Gifts in the mall in 1972, moth wing scales that look like an otherworldly plant, and more.  There’s even a surgical room scene that doesn’t resemble any operating room I’ve experienced, but, then, I’ve never had an operation while bathed in eerie fluorescent colors, not that I was aware of, anyway.

The BBC has an audio slideshow of the images which isn’t embeddable; click here for it. The Guardian has a similar slideshow here. And the Wellcome Image Awards site is here and well worth browsing.

Here are a couple of videos from The Guardian showing how some of the images were made:

Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero in THE DARK KNIGHT Interrogation Scene

Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero in THE DARK KNIGHT Interrogation Scene


Toto's "Africa" Gets a '50s-Style Cover from Postmodern Jukebox

What Are Captain Marvel's Superpowers?

What Are Captain Marvel's Superpowers?



  1. Chris says:

    As a medical student, I can’t wait for this small group session to end so I can peruse these. They look awesome, and I can justify spending the time doing it b/c it’s kind of like “studying”.

  2. Coconutphone says:

    Pretty and nerdy! Cool stuff.