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Photography Science

Radically Unusual Caterpillars Captured by Photographer Igor Siwanowicz

January 30, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Scientist and photographer Igor Siwanowicz (previously) has made a name for himself documenting the phenomenal range of shapes, colors, and structures of creatures in the natural world. His many images of unique caterpillars include wild variations like feathery blue spikes, curling burnt-orange horns, and long black whiskers. Siwanowicz also works as a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus in Virginia. He shares more than ten years of his photography on photo.net.

 

 



Art Design Science

Precise Metallic Replicas of Ancient Fossils and Cells by Allan Drummond

January 25, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Cell Division

By day, D. Allan Drummond is Assistant Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at The University of Chicago, where he runs the Drummond Lab. After hours, his interest in evolution and cellular structure takes a different, tangible form. Drummond constructs exacting replicas of creatures from the deep fossil record, paying specific attention to the detail of their underbellies, which are often obliterated by the passage of time. Drummond shares with Colossal:

So far, as a scientist, I’ve been on a slow journey to the bottom, to the deepest level of detail, from seeking to explain patterns of evolution spanning the tree of life, to probing how cells react to their environment, to tinkering with the pieces and parts of molecules swarming inside those cells. The details go all the way down, remaining absorbing and also consequential, worth knowing about and studying. That sensation of unexpectedly interesting detail is what I try to capture in my sculpture.

Each creature is sculpted digitally by Drummond using scientific references, including specimens from private collections. Next, they are 3D printed in wax, and finally lost-wax cast in bronze and finished by hand. The sculptures are rendered down to the smallest detail, including gills, antennae, legs, and even mitochondria in cell division. Drummond shares his in-progress and completed pieces on Instagram and several works are available for sale on his website as jewelry or decorative artifacts.

Trilobite, Ceraurus Species

Trilobite, Ceraurus Species

Trilobite, Ceraurus Species

Trilobite, Ceraurus Species

Trilobite, Ceraurus Species

Sphinx Moth, Hyles Lineata

Sphinx Moth, Hyles Lineata

Sphinx Moth, Hyles Lineata

Trilobite, Hoplolichas Furcifer, in process

Trilobite, Hoplolichas Furcifer

 

 



Design Science

Papier Machine: A Book of Six Interactive Electronic Paper Toys

January 16, 2018

Christopher Jobson

We’ve seen a wide gamut of paper project books lately, from shadows and cameras to planetariums and architectural models. Joining the DIY library today is Papier Machine, a collection of six interactive electronic paper toys all gathered together within the pages of a book developed by a trio of French designers. The various experiments are silkscreen printed on perforated paper and activated by button cell batteries, conductive silver ink, metal marbles, and other electronic components.

The six included gadgets include a piano “tuned” by hand-drawn graphite zones, a gyroscope, a marble track that plays sounds, a wind sensor, a centrifugal force track, and a tilt switch. Earlier versions of Papier Machine won Audi Talent and Red Dot Design awards, leading way to extra research and development in this final book which just launched on Kickstarter. (via It’s Nice That)

 

 



Photography Science

Breathe: A Stunning Black & White Timelapse of Thunderstorms Across the Central Plains

January 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Phoenix-based filmmaker, photographer, and storm chaser Mike Olbinski captures approaching storms around his desert home using high definition video, often posting his works to his Vimeo in 4K. Breathe, one of his latest short films, is the first ever work posted in 8K and features a selection of storms shot in 2017 in either the American central plains or southwest. Watch the video above in high resolution to witness the magnificence of each rolling stormcell gather and disperse throughout a variety of open landscapes.

You can follow along with Olbinski’s storm chasing adventures on his blog, and see more of his timelapse videos and photography on his website.

 

 



Photography Science

Two Biologists Explore the Remote Rainforests of the Ecuadorian Andes to Document Fungi

January 8, 2018

Christopher Jobson

All photos © Danny Newman

Biologists estimate that 3.2 million species of fungi may exist on Earth, and of that only around 120,000 are known to science which leaves potentially millions organisms of left to discover, photograph, and document before it’s too late. The majority of undescribed species live in the tropics where mycologists Danny Newman and Roo Vandegrift have traveled extensively to document fungi in regions threatened by climate change and development.

In 2014, the pair traveled to Reserva Los Cedros, one of the last unlogged watersheds on the western slope of the Andes, where they took all of the photos seen here. The reserve has since been declared open for mining by the Ecuadorian government and the habitat that spawned these unusual mushrooms is slated for destruction. “The identification and description of rare or endemic species from the reserve will help demonstrate the value of these habitats and the importance of their conservation,” shares Newman about the project.

As part of a January residency at the University of Oregon, Newman is now working to sequence the DNA of 350 fungi samples found at Reserva Los Cedros and is seeking support from the public to help fund the project at cost. You can see more photos from their discoveries in Ecuador on Mushroom Observer. Also, do yourself a favor and check out the caterpillar at 0:50 in the video below.

 

 



Photography Science

A Burst of Deep Sea Fireworks: A Rare Jellyfish Filmed by the E/V Nautilus

January 3, 2018

Christopher Jobson

Researchers aboard the E/V Nautilus (previously) celebrated the new year with an unlikely guest, a beautiful Halitrephes maasi jellyfish found at a depth of 4,000 feet underwater at the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico. The vibrantly hued jellyfish looks like an impressive burst of fireworks when lit, but would otherwise travel in almost completely visual obscurity.

“Radial canals that move nutrients through the jelly’s bell form a starburst pattern that reflects the lights of ROV Hercules with bright splashes of yellow and pink,” the Nautilus crew shares. “But without our lights this gelatinous beauty drifts unseen in the dark.”

You can follow regular discoveries aboard the Nautilus on their frequently updated YouTube channel.
(via Core 77)

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

A Remarkable Timelapse of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch

December 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Last Friday SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket that illuminated the sky above Southern California in a spectacularly unusual way, leaving many unsuspecting people to wonder if they were witnessing a comet, an attack, or the end of days. SpaceX founder Elon Musk acknowledged the bizzare atmospheric effect but didn’t help clarify things much.

Photographer Jesse Watson was in nearby Yuma, Arizona to film a timelapse of the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Having never filmed a rocket before he wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but this 40 seconds of footage was well worth the effort. PetaPixel has some additional details about how Watson managed to get the shot.