Michi­gan sci­en­tists get cel­lu­lar for an art pro­ject

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Beauty may be in the eye of the be­holder—but it’s also in the brain cells, heart cells and stem cells, too.

Med­i­cal re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan are show­cas­ing the beauty of science in a col­lec­tion of brightly col­ored prints that ap­pear to in­voke the ab­strac­tion of mod­ern art more than the ground­break­ing study of dis­ease.

But that’s ex­actly what the im­ages are: col­lec­tions of cells taken from the mi­cro­scopes and scan­ners of U-M sci­en­tists that aim to fur­ther sci­en­tific knowl­edge about how the body works. The re­searchers dis­played the im­ages—part of the U-M Bioar­tog­ra­phy pro­gram, run by the Cen­ter for Organo­gen­e­sis—this month at Ann Ar­bor’s Art Fair, which draws hun­dreds of artists and thou­sands of art lovers.

One im­age, “Monet’s Gar­den,” by Dawen Cai, an as­so­ciate re­search sci­en­tist, fea­tures mouse brain cells that have been ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied to show con­nec­tions be­tween neu­rons. The re­sult is a “brain­bow,” teardrops of pinks, reds and yel­lows against a back­ground of dark greens and blues.

An­other im­age, “He Wears His Heart on His Sleeve,” by Dr. Jack Par­ent, a stem-cell re­searcher, shows pul­sat­ing heart mus­cle cells in neon greens and reds. The cells were pluripo­tent stem cells that were in­duced to be heart mus­cle cells, and ac­tu­ally “beat” in cul­ture.

Sales of the prints, also avail­able on­line at bioar­tog­ra­phy.com, help sup­port travel grants for young sci­en­tists to present their work at con­fer­ences.

“Monet’s Gar­den,” left, and “He Wears His Heart on His Sleeve” are two of the works de­rived from cell im­ages.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.