Category Archives: Art in Science

Bio-Artography – Science meets Art

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Photo credit: Bioartography

Photo credit: Bioartography

These stunning images look like something out of an art exhibition. As a matter of fact, they are on exhibit and for sale, but they are actually scientific images of tissues and cells captured using microscopes.

The images are part of a project called Bio-Artography founded by the University of Michigan’s Center for Organogenesis. In this research group, scientists study organ formation, function, and disease in hope of finding cure for organ diseases and developing better treatment for organ damages. Continue reading –>

 

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A fairytale — How to (or how not to) give an effective PowerPoint presentation

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If I asked you to think of a scientist, you probably imagined a madman wearing a dirty lab coat and holding test tubes. Another cliché is a scientist giving a boring and mind-numbing presentation. (By the way, being a researcher myself, I dare say that both examples here are quite often true…)

I came across a video recording of a talk sponsored by TEDxSingapore, which might help scientists beat the ho-hum-talk stereotype. This also would help anyone giving a presentation at school or at work. In the talk entitled, The Princess, the Witch, and the PowerPoint, Coleman Yee uses a fairytale analogy to show us how people often misuse PowerPoint.

Coleman Yee’s talk is quite amusing and worth watching. Enjoy! Watch the video –>

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Book Review: A Discovery of Witches — Evolution and genetic mutations

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Let’s talk about mutations. You are more familiar with the concept than you think. Take for example, the popular movie series X-Men, where the world is surprisingly full of “mutants” with extraordinary abilities, such as Wolverine, Magneto, and Storm to name a few.

I wanted to talk about evolution and genetic changes because I came across a novel that discussed it. A Discovery of Witches (2011), a New York Times bestseller and book one of the All Souls Trilogy, by historian & novelist Dr. Deborah Harkness is a drooling 4-in-1 treat for someone like myself who equally love sci-fi, fantasy, romance, and historical work. Through seamless references to alchemy, Darwinian evolution, genomic studies, and history spanning over a thousand years, the story slowly unfolds mystery surrounding the world where humans unknowingly co-exist with daemons, witches, and vampires. (And yes, the leading vampire is irresistibly attractive AND he happens to be a biochemist like myself.)

Everything seemed fine until I came across the following set of phrases, which raised my eyebrow:

“Species change, adapting to new circumstances… The instinct to survive…is a powerful one – certainly powerful enough to cause genetic changes.” (p.472, Penguin Books)
“…she might have been led to you by the pressures of survival.” (p.473, Penguin Books) Continue reading –>

 

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