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Science and engineering visualization contest winners (images)

The National Science Foundation and the journal Science announce the 2011 winners of a contest to create the best visualizations in the fields of science and engineering.

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Martin LaMonica
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1 of 10 Bryan William Jones, University of Utah Moran Eye Center

Metabolomic Eye

First place in the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge in the Photography category went to a detailed picture of the tissue from the eye of a mouse. University of Utah Moran Eye Center professor Bryan William Jones used a technique called computational molecular phenotyping (CMP) to delineate the different types of cells from a tiny slice of a mouse's eye.
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2 of 10 Robert Belliveau

Skin of an Immature Cucumber

Photographer Robert Bellinveau used a polarizing microscope to get a 800 times magnification of trichomes, a defensive tip of young cucumbers. His work got an honorable mention in the Photography category.
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3 of 10 Babak Anasori, Michael Naguib, Yury Gogotsi, Michel W. Barsoum, Drexel University

The Cliff of the Two-Dimensional World

It looks like the side of a mountain from Utah but it's actually tiny layers of titanium-based compounds. The team of photographers was able to capture this level of detail, with each strip only five atoms thick, in two dimensions for the first time, according to the journal Science.
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4 of 10 Emiko Paul and Quade Paul, Echo Medical Media; Ron Gamble, UAB Insight

Tumor Death-Cell Receptors on Breast Cancer Cell

This illustration depicts a dangerous-looking breast cancer. It was modeled in 3D software and painted in Photoshop. The green globs on the bottom left show a protein treatment which can shut down and kill cancer cells.
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5 of 10 Joel Brehm, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Variable-Diameter Carbon Nanotubes

Illustrator Joel Brehm creates the perspective of being within an array of carbon nanotubes, which are too small to see with the naked eye. He drew from the work done at the University of Nebraska in making variable diameter carbon nanotubes, which could be used for antennas or electronics.
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6 of 10 Konstantin Poelke, Konrad Polthier of Free University of Berlin

Exploring Complex Functions Using Domain Coloring

This image is a visualization of a complex math problem. Each complex number in an equation is a color, and the farther they are from zero (the white area), the brighter the picture. The idea is to show the differences between complex numbers.
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7 of 10 Andrew Noske and Thomas Deerinck The National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research; Horng Ou and Clodagh O'Shea, Salk Institute

Separation of a Cell

Cell division is taught early on in biology but it's most often depicted in two dimensions. This illustration is an effort to create a more realistic three-dimensional image.
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8 of 10 Foldit

Gaming for science

Foldit is a computer game where people try to visually construct proteins that could be useful to medical research. Gamers, who don't need to be trained scientists, compete to make a protein from amino acids.
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9 of 10 Laura Lynn Gonzalez, Green-Eye Visualization

Powers of Minus Ten

Using a video game, students can delve into the biology under the skin. The students start at the skin on the hand and then enter a cell, then animated chromosomes and proteins. The developer hopes to refine the game so that students can visually see things at the atomic level, according to Science.
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10 of 10 Ivan Konstantinov, Yury Stefanov, Alexander Kovalevsky, Anastasya Bakulina of Visual Science

The Ebola Virus

Certainly not the prettiest sight, but one that reflects the complexity of the Ebola virus. This 3D model, put together by Russian-based group Visual Science, reflects the complicated structure of the virus.

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