Description of contest: 2013 Art of Science Photomicrography Calendar Contest
Images depicting studies with zebrafish, xenopus, or other aquatic species were judged on both technical execution and artistic rendition by an outside panel of both science and art professionals. The three winning photos will be featured on Aquaneering’s 2013 calendar, which will be distributed in the January issues of ALN and Zebrafish Magazines. Aquaneering builds high quality aquatic environments for laboratory animals, including zebrafish and xenopus.
The earliest germ cells in the zebrafish ovary contain a population of germline stem cells. In this double transgenic adult zebrafish ovary imaged via fluorescent confocal microscopy, the ziwi promoter drives expression of mCherry in all germ cells (red) including early stage germ cells, while the vasa promoter drives expression of eGFP only in later stage oocytes (green), and DNA has been stained with DAPI (blue).
Terra Cibus: Food Photographed with A Scanning Electron Microscope by Caren Alpert
San Francisco-based fine art and commercial photographer Caren Alpert combines her loves for photography, food, and art in these gorgeous photos taken with an electron microscope. Alpert captures the microscopic, almost other-worldly surfaces of common foods such as Oreo cookies, shrimp, leaves, and candy, turning what might normally be a scientific endeavor into fine art. As amazing as the images look here I’ve linked each through to the high resolution version on her website so you can see them in greater detail. Alpert has upcoming shows at Bertha V.B. Lederer Gallery starting October 2, as well as a show called The Beauty + Biology of our Food at the Citigroup Center starting November 2. She also has limited edition prints for sale and you can find out more by contacting her here.
See the entire Terra Cibus gallery here
- terra cibus no.34 / pop tart (450x magnification)
- terra cibus no.23 / purple onion (230x magnification)
- terra cibus no.3 / celery Leaf (85x magnification)
Top 10 Best Things To Know As An Incoming Graduate Student
1. Cite EVERYTHING, especially if it was written by your PI. And make sure you read all those papers as well.
2. Remember that it’s better to be called “roton” than rotten.
3. Establish study groups early, and ask questions if you’re confused.
4. Don’t forget to eat, sleep, and occasionally have some fun (outside of lab)
5. Become friends with the lab technician- they know where everything is and how to operate it.
6. Liquid nitrogen is cold, very cold. Likewise, Bunsen burners are hot, very hot.
7. Go out to lunch with your fellow first years- they understand best what you are going through, and 20 years from now they might be reviewing your papers.
8. Don’t be afraid of cockroaches, dead mice, or Drosophila. They’ll turn up in the most unlikely places.
9. If you don’t like a lab after 5 weeks, you are definitely not going to like it after 5 years.
10. Get organized- keep a calendar and a list of things to do. 5 years feels like all the time in the world, but goes by incredibly fast.
Good luck first years
This year we asked scientists to explain “What is a flame?” in a way 11-year-olds would understand and enjoy. Now we are asking children age 10-12 to suggest the next question for the Flame Challenge. What would you like scientists to explain?
This contest is the brainchild of actor Alan Alda, best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in “M*A*S*H”. Seemingly simple questions are often much harder to explain, especially in a way that 11-year old kids can understand. No scientist was used to judge, but actual 11-year-olds were the judges. It was up to scientists to explain their work in comprehensible language. Comprehensible language does not mean dumbing things down, but rather to explain things clearly and concisely (to the point explanations). He even went so far to create the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York. CCS even offers MSc and PhD students a course in how to present science.
Anyway, the winner of the “What is a flame?” contest is Ben Ames, an American graduate student in quantum optics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He studies how atoms interact with light at the quantum level. A Kansas City native and youngest of eight, he grew up with music. By combining his passions for music, film, performing art and science, he locked himself up in his basement for a week to re-appear with the following movie that explains what a flame is.
Of course, not everyone is equally good at communicating science, be it in an oral presentation or a written manuscript or even on a one-to-one basis. This does not mean that you cannot be trained to improve yourself and to make yourself more marketable. Most of our professors have had extensive training in both oral and written presentations. They write grants to get funded. They write and submit manuscripts. They go to conferences and present the work from their labs. And they teach to undergraduate and graduate students. Yet, very few graduate programs in the life sciences offer a course in how to become a more effective communicator. UC Davis does offer cross campus courses, but few students actually go there. The BMCDB graduate program aims to train its students to become the next top scientist, but on the end of coordinated training to improve science communication skills there is room for improvement.