Saturday 23 November 2019

Pictures reveal work of scientists

Konrad Wagstyl used a new method of looking at the cerebral cortex to produce The Jigsaw Brain (Konrad Wagstyl/University of Cambridge/PA)
Konrad Wagstyl used a new method of looking at the cerebral cortex to produce The Jigsaw Brain (Konrad Wagstyl/University of Cambridge/PA)
A picture taken by Sarah Luke shows a mighty Belian iron-wood trunk laying on a forest floor in Malaysian Borneo (Sarah Luke/University of Cambridge/PA)
Tobias Waeur produced an image showing the molecular structure of the protein (Parkin Tobias Wauer/University of Cambridge/PA)

From a rainbow on the surface of a fruit fly's brain to the last tree to be felled in a once great forest, a series of unique and sometimes surreal images which showcase the work of top young researchers has been published for the first time.

Compiled by researchers from the life sciences subjects at the University of Cambridge, the pictures are part of an exhibition which aims to open up the world of scientific study to the general public.

Produced by PhD, post-doctoral and Master of Philosophy researchers, the pictures feature in an exhibition organised as part of the current Cambridge Science Festival

Alexander Hackman is studying the bio-mechanics of how insects clean themselves for his PhD.

His ultra-magnified image shows a polystyrene particle which is five times smaller than the diameter of a human hair attached to a cleaning hair removed from an ant's antenna.

Taken using a special microscope, it is the first time such an image has been captured and it helps understand how insects keep healthy using specialised cleaning devices.

Another picture, taken by Sarah Luke, shows a mighty Belian iron-wood trunk laying on a forest floor in the state of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo - all that is left of a site that has been cleared to make way for an oil palm plantation.

She said: "Malaysia is a leading producer of palm oil and the industry has provided a hugely valuable boost to the economy and many jobs.

"However, vast areas of forest have been lost, posing major threats to biodiversity.

"It is unusual to see such a large trunk left abandoned in a plantation, and this offers a particularly poignant reminder of the forest that has been lost."

Jun Liu's image is described as a rainbow "Milky Way" at the brain surface and shows the blood brain barrier of a fruit fly rendered at super resolution.

Konrad Wagstyl used a new method to look at the cerebral cortex to produce The Jigsaw Brain, a colourful image showing how the brain is randomly split into a thousand pieces to highlight how researchers identify the same areas of different brains.

Mahalia Page captured how hair follicles help heal wounds by supplying new cells and Tobias Waeur produced an image showing the molecular structure of the protein Parkin which has been shown to cause Parkinson's disease.

The exhibition takes place at the Cormack Room University Centre in Cambridge between 12.30pm and 3pm tomorrow. Entry is free.

PA Media

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