News Release

Exploring the beauty of biomedical discovery

Stunning images and movies from the frontline of medical research

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Brainbow by Maria Bergamasco

image: The higher cortex is responsible for complex brain functions, such as critical thinking and problem solving. The colors of the Brainbow in this image each represent a different layer of the higher cortex of the brain during development. The primary colors have been selected specifically to avoid confusion when colors overlap. Where red overlaps with blue, we can clearly see purple. By coloring and layering brain tissue, Maria can study the impact of disrupting or altering genes at different stages of brain development. This will help her to discover what goes wrong in cases where the higher cortex doesn't function as it should. Understanding what goes awry in early brain development enables better diagnosis and treatment for people with intellectual disabilities. view more 

Credit: Maria Bergamasco, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s annual Art of Science display is a visual journey telling stories of exploration and discovery from the front line of Australian medical research.

The Art of Science celebrates stunning images and movies captured by Institute scientists as they work to understand, prevent and treat cancers, infectious diseases and immune disorders.

The images and movies produced reveal incredible biomedical insights like ‘CCTV footage’ of cancer cells invading bone; a mammary gland during lactation; deadly parasites that resemble neon flowers; how malaria spreads within a population; and what happens when you grow a lung in a laboratory.

Institute director Professor Doug Hilton said Art of Science was a great way to engage students considering a career in medical research. “Art of Science features the work of our laboratory heads right through to the work of our students. I’m proud to say the imaging skill displayed by our younger pioneers is exceptional,” Professor Hilton said.

Head of the Institute's Centre for Dynamic Imaging Dr Kelly Rogers leads a team at the Institute with expertise in biology, physics and maths who develop tools as well as train, advise and collaborate with researchers on their projects.

Dr Rogers said advances in imaging technology were crucial to visualising intricate biological systems that could not possibly be seen with the naked eye.

"We have the increasing ability to look at biology in 4D -- that's getting up close and personal with biology in its natural environment, at all scales and in real time. It's an exciting time to be working at the field's cutting-edge.

"Art of Science is a spectacular display of how imaging can reveal how the body functions normally and how diseases develop, spread and respond to treatment," Dr Rogers said.

Through Art of Science, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute helps to educate the public on research vital for the health of our communities in a way that is accessible and intriguing.

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