One of the most common genetic defects in human deafness is the disappearance of an important family of proteins: the claudins. Claudins are the most critical component of tight junctions (shown here in blue), the place where two adjacent cells meet. Imagine a tight circle of people linking arms to protect what’s inside; tight junctions are what protect a tissue from unwanted molecules or cells trying to pass through. When mice cannot make claudin, the tight junctions in the cochlea (the spiral-shaped portion of the inner ear) are disrupted, robbing them of their hearing sensitivity.
Image by Dr. Alexander Gow and Cherie Southwood, Wayne State University.
A ‘vein-viewer' works by using infrared light to image the presence of veins underneath the skin: The IR light is absorbed by the deoxygenated haemoglobin within veins. The locations of absorption and reflection are detected and the machine generates a corresponding projection using visible light. Find out more about how these devices are used in medicine in this video: http://youtu.be/lk0HMqwreIo
Colorful Photographs That Reveal The Beauty Within Deformed Frogs
Based in New York, visual artist and biologist Brandon Ballengée has combined his love for art and science with these colorful photographs of deformed frogs.
Inspired by his scientific research, which was about the decline of frog populations due to their deformities, Ballengée colored his specimens with chemicals, and then used a high-resolution scanner to create photographs of each deformed frog.
The artist chooses to show the beauty that can be found within these creatures as he did not want to exploit their deformities. In these prints, these frogs appear to be as large as toddlers to evoke empathy—if they were too small, viewers would dismiss them.
Aptly named “Reliquaries”, these images are a tribute to the short lives of these amphibians.
Ballengée’s works will be exhibited till 13 April 2014 at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art in Michigan.