Washington University in St. Louis

Cell Biology as Art Exhibit 2014

Cell Biology as Art 
September 15 to October 3, 2015

Farrell Learning and Teaching Center Atrium

The fundamental science of biology is the study of cells.  Whether plant or animal, cells often exist in communities where they work together doing different things to benefit the entire group. Scientists who study cells explore basic mechanisms of how a cell works, and have the opportunity to elucidate the intricate interplay between cells that leads to the formation of a functional tissue.  In its simplest definition, disease occurs when the cooperation between cells is interrupted by intrinsic (e.g., genetic) or extrinsic (e.g., inflammatory) factors.  Thus, an understanding of the basic design of “normal” is required to fully understand “abnormal.”  A powerful way to elucidate cell function is to use microscopy to visualize the organization of molecules within the cell and the architecture of cells within a tissue.  The images presented in this exhibit reveal some of the beauty that we, as scientists, are exposed to while carrying out our trade of scientific The fundamental science of biology is the study of cells.  Whether plant or animal, cells often exist in communities where they work together doing different things to benefit the entire group. Scientists who study cells explore basic mechanisms of how a cell works, and have the opportunity to elucidate the intricate interplay between cells that leads to the formation of a functional tissue.  In its simplest definition, disease occurs when the cooperation between cells is interrupted by intrinsic (e.g., genetic) or extrinsic (e.g., inflammatory) factors.  Thus, an understanding of the basic design of “normal” is required to fully understand “abnormal.”  A powerful way to elucidate cell function is to use microscopy to visualize the organization of molecules within the cell and the architecture of cells within a tissue.  The images presented in this exhibit reveal some of the beauty that we, as scientists, are exposed to while carrying out our trade of scientific  inquiry.  The color palate available to us to “paint” target cells or molecules is limited by the technical restrictions of the microscope—but the beauty of the images that are obtained using no more than three colors provides a stunning snapshot of the art of life.  inquiry.  The color palate available to us to “paint” target cells or molecules is limited by the technical restrictions of the microscope—but the beauty of the images that are obtained using no more than three colors provides a stunning snapshot of the art of life.

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