Posts about art

New York City Travel Photos

photo of stained glass window - The Cloisters, NYC
Photos from my trip to New York City last year are now online. Photos include: The Cloisters (part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – though located far uptown) art and architecture of medieval Europe, the remodeled Museum of Modern Art, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building and Flatiron Building.

Related: New York City Photo EssaysParis Travel PhotosPacific Northwest photosCurious Cat Travel Photos

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Get Your Own Science Art

hemoglobin represented in crystal

Cool science art from Bathsheba Sculpture.

The Molecule that Makes Breathing Worthwhile – Hemoglobin is the iron-bearing protein that most animals use to carry oxygen from their lungs to their muscles, or wherever it’s needed for metabolism, i.e. life. It’s the most important part of red blood cells, and its iron is what makes them red.

This sculpture, etched in a heavy 3 1/4″ glass cube, shows hemoglobin’s beautiful structure: the four heme groups each with its iron atom, the two alpha and two beta subunits, and the translucent molecular surface over all.

As well as being handsome and useful, hemoglobin is a star of scientific history. With its close relative myoglobin, it was the first protein to have its 3D structure determined by X-ray crystallography. Max Perutz and John Kendrew at Cambridge University received the Nobel Prize in 1962 for doing it.

The site offers various crystals and sculptures created by Bathsheba Grossman. The art itself is very cool and the site includes interesting information on the science represented by the art and the engineering behind creating the art.

The points are tiny (.1mm) fractures created by a focused laser beam. The conical beam, with a focal length of about 3”³, shines into the glass without damaging it except at the focal point. At that one point, concentrated energy heats the glass to the cracking point, causing a microfracture.

To draw more points, the laser is pulsed on and off. To make the beam move between points, it’s reflected from a mirror that is repositioned between pulses. The mirror is moved by computer-controlled motors, so many points can be drawn with great speed and accuracy. A typical design might use several hundred thousand points, or half a million isn’t unusual in a large block, each placed with .001”³ accuracy.

Related: Art of Science 2006The Art and Science of ImagingScience and Engineering gadgets and giftsSmall World PhotosNSF: The Art of EngineeringNatural History Museum Wildlife PhotosArt of Science 2005Van Gogh Painted Perfect Turbulence

Engineered Art

Strandbeest – “Kinetic Sculptures” by Theo Jansen. He creates mobile sculptures that walk with the wind.

More videos: Theo Jansen discusses the mechanics of this work at ArtFutura05video of another pieceBMW commercial

The Art and Science of Imaging

Cancer Cell

The Art of Imaging from Invitrogen (via Molecular Probes’ protocols for pretty pictures). See interesting images and details on exactly how to scientists create such images.

image: -catenin in HeLa human cervical cancer cells was labeled using mouse anti–catenin and visualized with Alexa Fluor 488 goat anti-mouse IgG (green). Filamentous actin was visualized using red-fluorescent Alexa Fluor 635 phalloidin. Nuclear DNA was stained with blue-fluorescent DAPI. Larger photo and more details

The image gallery includes many more images.

Art of Science 2006


2006 Art of Science exhibition from Princeton University has many amazing images.

Image: “created in Photoshop to illustrate the vertebral column of the genus Hippocampus. While most fish have scales, seahorses have bony plates over which a thin layer of skin is stretched. Seahorses are vertebrates and thus have a vertebral column that runs through the center of their body and the center of their prehensile tail.” – larger view

National Spherical Torus Experiment

Photo: The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) is an innovative magnetic fusion device that was constructed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Columbia University, and the University of Washington at Seattle. This image is of the interior of the experiment showing the protective carbon tiles and the central column. Various diagnostics are mounted at the midplane. larger view

See the full gallery of images and movies. Previous post: Art of Science at Princeton.

Ocean Life – photos and videos