Small wonders: The microscopic images currently on display at the Tompkins-McCaw Library prove that the beauty of science is in the details
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
A black widow spider’s silk-spinning organ. An ovarian tumor. Muscle fibers in the inner ear. Vagus neurons in a zebrafish’s brain. A traumatic brain injury in a mouse.
These are just a few examples of the microscopic images on display as part of the “Through the Looking Glass” art exhibit at the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The exhibit, which is open to the public and will run through Dec. 31, showcases colorful and striking images created by VCU students, faculty and staff – all through the lens of a microscope.
Last spring, a panel of judges from VCU’s biomedical engineering and clinical laboratory sciences, led by Scott Henderson, Ph.D., director of VCU’s Microscopy Facility, which is part of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology in the School of Medicine, chose the exhibit’s 24 images from 40 submissions, and selected three images as prizewinners on the basis of aesthetic appeal, technical skill and scientific significance.
“Exhibited images span disciplines from biomedical engineering to forensic science to pathology and range from scaffolding from electrospun fibers to a black widow spider spinnerets to a time-lapse image of vagus neurons,” said Teresa L. Knott, director of Tompkins-McCaw Library. “The images selected for the exhibit are dynamic and fascinating to me.”
The following is a selection of images from “Through the Looking Glass,” along with brief descriptions of the subject matter depicted and its scientific relevance.
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