The University of Texas at Austin
  • Science Visualized

    By Lee Clippard, College of Natural Sciences
    Published: Sept. 30, 2013

    Science has always been partly a visual pursuit, as researchers visually communicate their discoveries and explore the topics they hold near and dear. Haeckel created beautiful color illustrations of organisms, Darwin drew evolutionary trees and da Vinci sketched anatomy, just to name a few.

    Now more than ever, science visualizations are part of the discovery process itself, as researchers use 3-D models and data visualizations to uncover patterns in data and reveal the inner workings of life and the universe.

    Here are 10 images that reflect the extraordinary beauty of science and the scientific process, as submitted to the College of Natural Sciences from members of its faculty, staff and students.

    computer rendering of atmospheric turbulence

    Atmospheric turbulence, shown as glass in this model, distorts and limits the resolution of large, ground-based telescopes. Next-gen telescopes, such as the Giant Magellan Telescope, will remove such distortions by computing corrections and changing the shape of the telescope mirror in real-time. [Credit: John Kuehne, research scientist, Department of Astronomy]

    A young brain coral Diploria strigosa (green) that has recently formed a symbiosis with a Symbiodinium dynoflagellate (in red).

    A young brain coral Diploria strigosa (green) that has recently formed a symbiosis with a Symbiodinium dynoflagellate (in red). This coral is found in the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico. [Credit: Marie Strader, graduate student, Department of Integrative Biology]

    Continuous wavelet transform of the heart rate of exercising subject

    Continuous wavelet transform of the heart rate of exercising subject, showing its multifractal structure. [Credit: Kathy Davis, associate professor, Department of Mathematics]

    Plant epidermal cells taken with a scanning electron microscope

    Plant epidermal cells taken with a scanning electron microscope (color added during photo processing). The cells are from the Freshman Research Initiative stream Epidermal Cell Fates and Pathways, and were generated by a former undergraduate student, Tyler Smith, and research educator Tony Gonzalez. [Credit: Tony Gonzalez]

    a microscopic 3-D object fabricated from the protein albumin; looks like a star on a chain

    A microscopic 3-D object fabricated from the protein albumin. The star portion of the structure is 15 µm from tip to tip, which is just a touch larger than a human red blood cell. The ability to fabricate structures of this complexity from natural materials is useful for studying quorum sensing and drug resistance in bacteria populations and has potential applications in cancer research, and tissue engineering. [Credit: Eric Spivey, postdoctoral fellow, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology]

    A mouse embryonic skeleton, with bone stained Alizarin Red and cartilage stained Alcian Blue

    A mouse embryonic skeleton, with bone stained Alizarin Red and cartilage stained Alcian Blue. [Credit: Jacqueline Norrie, graduate student, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology]

    Rendering of the state of the universe 200 million years after the Big Bang, with orange/red bubbles of hot gas and great streaks of cold cosmic gas

    The state of the Universe roughly 200 million years after the Big Bang (13.6 billion years ago), a relatively short cosmic timescale. The orange/red bubbles are regions of hot gas that the first stars created when they ignited. The green streaks are cold cosmic gas that has begun to collapse into dark matter but has not yet formed stars. The structure in the center is destined to become one of the first galaxies with the next hundred million years or so. [Credit: Chalence Safranek-Shrader, graduate student, Department of Astronomy]

    protein

    Protein Mss116p DEAD-box helicase domain 2 bound to an RNA duplex. [Credit: Arthur F. Monzingo, research associate, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology]

    A multi-resolution zoom into the ribosome

    A multi-resolution zoom into the ribosome, which synthesizes proteins on demand in almost all cells. [Credit: Chandra Bajaj, professor, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences]

    visualization of free volume, or negative space, in a glassforming polymer

    Visualization of free volume, or negative space, in a glassforming polymer. Free volume properties determine how advanced materials assemble and function. [Credit: Frank Willmore, research associate, Texas Advanced Computing Center]

    This post originally appeared on the College of Natural Sciences’ website.

    • Quote 2
      Amais Bajwa said on Oct. 25, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.
      Great thanks to utexas and especially to chandra bajaj.I found what i want.Lets explore this universe to its tiniest point.
    • Quote 2
      Vidhu Shekhar Chaturvedi said on Oct. 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
      Makes one realize that the universe is both within and without us -an ancient Indian "belief". Thanks for these amazing images, UT.
    • Quote 2
      Hamid said on Oct. 4, 2013 at 3:58 p.m.
      These are great generated and created by great scientist!let's keep working all together hard and smart to explore the world and universe!
    • Quote 2
      Ian Cunningham said on Oct. 3, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.
      These are fabulous and glad to see UT producing this level of research and creativity. Back in my day (MSE '85) students researched the same sort of "imagery" but - we just called them hallucinations back then. We didn't get academic credit for our "research"...although we tried and despite all it made us much better engineers. Keep it up, and Hook 'em Horns! Ian Cunningham MSE '85
    • Quote 2
      Catherine Vriend said on Oct. 3, 2013 at 2:09 p.m.
      Thank you for giving me a lift today.
    • Quote 2
      Lee Clippard said on Oct. 3, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.
      Edith, I'd love to discuss this with you further. Please feel free to contact me at clippard@austin.utexas.edu. Thanks for your interest!
    • Quote 2
      Edith J. Velasco said on Oct. 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
      Who could we talk to to get permission to print these as an Art Exhibit at the Insights El Paso Science Center?
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