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Stunning Photos: Microscopic Images As Art

Bioglyphs Secrets Unveiled

(Image credit: ©2002 MSU-Bozeman Bioglyphs Project)

With lights turned on, the secret behind Bioglyphs paintings is revealed -- petri dishes coated with agar support colonies of bioluminescent bacteria. Montana State University-Bozeman School of Art student Angela Bowlds created this piece. Bioglyphs--an exhibition of living bioluminescent paintings--brings science and art together in the form of a collaborative project involving students from the MSU School of Art, and science and engineering students from MSU’s Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE). For more information about the project, visit the Bioglyphs website

Arch of Bioluminescence

(Image credit: Copyright 2002, MSU-Bozeman Bioglyphs Project)

This arch was composed with petri dishes “painted” with bioluminescent bacteria. The piece--approximately 9 feet high by 5 feet wide--was installed in December 2002 at the O’Malley Library, Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY. The painting was created as part of the Bioglyphs project, composed of participants from Montana State University-Bozeman’s Center for Biofilm Engineering (CBE) and School of Art, in collaboration with environmental engineering students of Dr. Robert Sharp at Manhattan College. For more information about the project, visit the Bioglyphs website

Biogeochemical Educational Experiences in South Africa

(Image credit: Courtesy University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the University of the Free State, Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in South Africa, 2003)

Microscopic photo of metal-oxidizing bacteria found in biofilm samples taken from a South African gold mine. Samples were taken as part of the University of Tennessee's (UT) Biogeochemical Educational Experiences - South Africa (BEE-SA)—a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. BEE-SA participants collected fissure water samples from South African gold mines as part of their research. South African mines, particularly the deep gold mines, have been selected for study because they provide relatively easy access to deep fissure waters and the rocks that host them. Since these mines are some of the deepest excavations in the world, they increase the possibility of uncontaminated studies of earlier evolution.

Periphyton Community

(Image credit: Mark B. Edlund, Ph.D.)

The periphyton community (sessile organisms that live attached to surfaces projecting from the bottom of freshwater aquatic environments) in Lake Hovsgol contains hundreds of diatom species. Diatoms are a large group of microscopic algae that grow as single cells or small colonies. This sample was taken as part of a Mongolian-American international partnership to survey the diatom flora of Hovsgol National Park in north-central Mongolia.

Microscopic Image of Plankton

(Image credit: NSF Collection)

A microscopic image of plankton.

Diatom Species Cymbella stuxbergii

(Image credit: Mark B. Edlund, Ph.D.)

A Cymbella stuxbergii species of diatom. Diatoms are a large group of microscopic algae that grow as single cells or small colonies. This sample was taken as part of a Mongolian-American international partnership to survey the diatom flora of Hovsgol National Park in north-central Mongolia.

Diatom Species Cyclotella ocellata

(Image credit: Credit Mark B. Edlund, Ph.D.)

The Cyclotella ocellata species of diatom pictured here is the most common planktonic diatom in Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia. Diatoms are a large group of microscopic algae that grow as single cells or small colonies. This sample was taken as part of a Mongolian-American international partnership to survey the diatom flora of Hovsgol National Park in north-central Mongolia.

Diatom Species Aneumastus

(Image credit: Mark B. Edlund, Ph.D.)

An Aneumastus species of diatom. Diatoms are a large group of microscopic algae that grow as single cells or small colonies. This sample was taken as part of a Mongolian-American international partnership to survey the diatom flora of Hovsgol National Park in north-central Mongolia.

Cholera-Carrying Copepod

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of Dr. Rita Colwell and Anwarul Huq)

A microscopic view of a female, cholera-carrying copepod.

Name Etched on Human Hair

(Image credit: Summer high school internship of Lauranne Lanz, Oalkand Mills High School, under the supervision of Prof. C.L. Chien, The Johns Hopkins University.)

A scanning electron microscope image reveals the word "Lauranne" etched onto a strand of human hair. Ms. Lauranne Lanz, a high school student who participated in a month-long summer internship in July 2002 at the NSF-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at Johns Hopkins University, performed the etching.