The 2015 BioArt Winners

Dec 03, 2015 at 09:41 pm by -gToon

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Each day, scientific investigators produce thousands of images and videos as a part of their research - from the collection of image-based data, to the visualization of results and the illustration of complex findings. However, only a few are ever seen outside of the laboratory. Through the BioArt competition, FASEB aims to share the beauty and excitement of biological research with the public.
-FASB Website

FASEB has selected the winners of its 4th annual BioArt competiton. The images where chosen across two image categories: "Fluorescence and Electron Microscopy" and "All Other Life Science Images." There were also two video winners. We've chosen three of the winning entries to share with you and one video. You can see the entire list of winners at the FASB website here.

Selected BioArt Winners

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Adam Brown* and David Biron* , University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Research Focus: Behavioral neurobiology

This image depicts a colony of Caenorhabditis Elegans nematode worms feeding on bacteria. The worms congregate in patches where bacteria growth is the densest, in this case forming a ring. C. Elegans are one of the simplest organisms with a nervous system, making them a valuable model in neurobiology. Mr. Brown is studying how serotonin, which is also present in the human brain, affects food-seeking and foraging behaviors and which specific nerve cells are involved. His research is supported by a training grant from the NIH National Institute of Mental Health.

*Genetics Society of America

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Heinz Baumann*, Sean T. Glenn†, Mary Kay Ellsworth, and Kenneth W. Gross‡
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Research Focus: Pancreatic cancer

When multiple tumors or cancers have spread throughout the body, distinguishing which cell came from which tumor can be difficult. To overcome this challenge, this research team used "confetti" fluorescent labeling in their mouse model of pancreatic cancer. In this proof of concept image, adult mouse cells were induced to randomly make one of four different fluorescent molecules. The descendants of these cells continue to produce the same color as their parent cell. The NIH National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases fund this research project, which seeks to identify genetic changes that contribute to pancreatic cancer.

*American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
†Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities
‡American Physiological Society

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Jessica Ryvlin, Stephanie Lindsey, and Jonathan Butcher*
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Research Focus: Heart development

During the embryo development, the formation of congenital heart defects alters blood flow patterns. In this NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Science Foundation research project, investigators are studying how these patterns change and developing measurement tools with the aim of improving diagnosis of heart defects in human embryos. To observe normal and abnormal heart development in real time, the researchers delicately transfer live chicken embryos from an egg shell to an artificial container. Microsurgical manipulations are used to induce heart defects to model blood flow pattern changes. Images, like this one, are created without any dyes and are instead enhanced using photo manipulation software. The modified images allow researchers to better visualize the developing heart (to the left of the eye) and the network of blood vessels from the heart and throughout the chick embryo.

*American Physiological Society, American Association of Anatomists, and Biomedical Engineering Society


Mehmet Berkmen and Maria Penil
New England BioLabs, Ipswich, MA

Research Focus: Interactions between bacterial colonies

Dr. Mehmet Berkmen's laboratory built a unique chamber that allows scientists in the lab to photograph bacteria colonies grown on agar plates for several weeks.

Because agar rapidly dehydrates, such long-term growth would not be possible outside the specialized time-lapse photography chamber. The researchers use this method to study long-term interactions between colonies of bacteria.

In this video, bacteria painted onto an agar plate grow into an image of a flowering plant. Several different types of bacteria can be seen, including Serratia (red), Bacillus (white), and Nesterenkonia (yellow).

The laboratory receives funding from the National Institutes for Health to develop methods for producing human antibodies in bacteria. The video was created by local artist Maria Penil as a part of the laboratory's public outreach efforts.

You can learn more about FASB and previous BioArt winners at their main website:

[note: all information taken from FASB website]

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