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Images: Artistic Research Wows in Gorgeous Photographs

Insect Poop

Insect with abstract poop art

(Image credit: © Swansea University, Miranda Whitten )

Insects create the art in this 2013 Research as Art runner-up. And the medium is … their own excrement. The insect Rhodnius prolixus is a bloodsucker whose poop contains the parasite that causes deadly Chagas disease. However, postdoctoral researcher Miranda Whitten and colleagues have learned how to silence the insect's genes using engineered bacteria from its own gut, a technique that allows them to study the insects' gene function and possibly to control the spread of Chagas.

Medieval Wounds

Medieval disfigurement on cartoon characters

(Image credit: © Swansea University, Patricia Skinner )

Well, that's … graphic. This image illustrates the potential sites of mutilation and disfigurement on the face in the early Middle Ages and is a modernization of a medieval practice of drawing "wound men" to show sites of injury, according to creator Patricia Skinner of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Research.

From the Ash

Eucalyptus tree regrows after fire

(Image credit: © Swansea University, Stefan Doerr)

Just four weeks after the Black Saturday fires in Australia in 2009, life finds a way in a seemingly dead eucalyptus tree. The trees are capable of producing shoots directly from the bark even after being charred, according to photographer Stefan Doerr. The image illustrates how environments evolve to cope with devastating fires, Doerr wrote.

A Colorful Network

Videoconferencing network nodes

(Image credit: © Swansea University, Steve Williams)

An illustration of a month's worth of academic videoconferences across Wales takes the shape of a running man in this 2013 Research as Art runner-up. The number of links to and from a given location determines that node's size and color.