Research as Art: A Gallery of Scientific Beauty

Winning Salt Grain

A microscopic look at a grain of salt.

(Image credit: Hollie Rosier, Swansea University)

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 midflight.

Children of the Gold Rush

Children in a Tanzania mining camp.

(Image credit: Ele Fisher, Swansea University)

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.

It's in a Book

A book with medications and plants.

(Image credit: Alison Williams, Swansea University)

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

Knitted Enzyme

Knitted enzymes

(Image credit: Josie Parker, Swansea University)

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.

Loading Up

Iron ore and coke in a blast furnace.

(Image credit: Marc Holmes and Steve Brown, Swansea University)

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.

Series of Tubes

Tubes and a master's thesis.

(Image credit: Nathan Cooze, SPECIFIC, Swansea University)

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.

Blue Flow

Tidal stream turbine flow

(Image credit: Rami Malki, Swansea University )

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

Turtle Tides

Ocean currents mapped globally.

(Image credit: Rebecca Scott, Swansea University)

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

Search for a Mutation

DNA sequences with mutation circled

(Image credit: Sian Wood, Swansea University)

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.

Fjord in Focus

icebergs in greenland fjord

(Image credit: Tavi Murray, Swansea University)

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."

Undergraduate Prize

Disaffected British youth

(Image credit: Anjali Kadam, Swansea University)

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.

Stephanie Pappas
Live Science Contributor

Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.