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Research as Art: A Gallery of Scientific Beauty
By Stephanie Pappas,
Live Science, 21 June 2012.

These are the 15 winning images from the 2012 Research As Art competition organized by the Swansea University in Wales…

1. Winning Salt Grain
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A grain of salt took first prize in Swansea University's 2012 Research as Art competition. This close-up look came from a laboratory study of the salts that form on jet turbines in mid-flight.

2. Children of the Gold Rush
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Anthropologist Ele Fisher took this picture of Fatuma and her friends in a gold mining settlement in Tanzania. Mining offers these children's families income, but mining camps are often rife with poverty and child exploitation, Fisher writes.

3. It's in a Book
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Is reading the best medicine? Alison Williams of Swansea University runs a reading group at a cancer centre. Here, she juxtaposes a book against both modern medicines and medicinal plants, suggesting the therapeutic value of reading.

4. Knitted Enzyme
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Who says science and the domestic arts don't mix? Josie Parker knitted a representation of the enzyme CYP51. Many antifungal compounds target CYP51, but mutations in the enzyme can make those antifungals useless.

5. Loading Up
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This visualization shows iron ore and coke (a coal product), being loaded into a blast furnace. Computer models are used to simulate the packing of such a furnace, which is too hot for direct observation.

6. Series of Tubes
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Nathan Cooze put this tableau together to illustrate the jigsaw puzzle of his research project, "A Property Comparison of Cold Formed and Hot Finished Steel Conveyance Tubes’ sponsored by Tata Steel Tubes." His thesis is surrounded by the tubes in question.

7. Blue Flow
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This image models the flow of water downstream of a tidal stream turbine for generating hydroelectric power from the ocean.

8. Turtle Tides
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The movements of floating buoys translate into this colourful map, one of the 2012 Research as Art honourees. Understanding these currents allows researchers to understand how baby sea turtles drift and disperse across the seas.

9. Search for a Mutation
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Molecular neuroscientist Sian Wood needs a lot of coffee when he scans the DNA sequences of patients with the rare disorder hyperekplexia. Hyperekplexia is marked by muscle stiffness and life-threatening breathe-holding episodes. A single genetic variation among 3 billion, circled here, is responsible for the disorder.

10. Fjord in Focus
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Icebergs melt in a Greenland Fjord as pink clouds reflect in the water. "t’s hard to describe the beauty and inspiration of the places in which we work," said photographer and glaciologist Tavi Murray." I am a scientist rather than an artist or photographer but a landscape like this talks directly to my soul."

11. Undergraduate Prize
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Anjali Kadam took Swansea University's undergraduate prize in the Research as Art competition. Kadam portrayed the disillusionment of British youth with the U.K. government.

12. Game of Research
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Broken metal test pieces stand in for pieces in this game of chess staged by Gregg Norton. "The image represents how research can be thought of as a game of strategy. How the research game is played is down to the individual researcher. Each move is always a calculated risk; assessing the probabilities of success. It can open up several new opportunities and take the player in a new and exciting direction," Norton writes. This image won the 2012 Research as Art postgraduate prize.

13. Old Faithful
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This image is an ode to the battered equipment needed to move science forward. Fancy marine recording devices need a torpedo weight like "Old Faithful" to stay in place, write Merin Broudic and Tracy Dyson, who won the early career research award in the 2012 Research as Art contest for this image.

14. Drowned Skull
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This photograph is of a 500-year-old skull taken from King Henry VIII’s Mary Rose warship, which sank in 1545, killing its entire crew. The owner of this skull was probably a high-ranking archer in his late 20s, judging by the artefacts around him and the relative strength of one of his arm bones.

15. Maggot Mania
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A maggot crawls on the nose of a "nosy" maggot researcher in this prize-winning photo. Swansea University's Maggot Research Project is cantered on understanding how maggots and their secretions can be used in wound care.

[Source: Live Science. Edited. Top image added.]

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