The art of science: Exploring the images behind the latest research

The Source
By: Guest contributor, Wed Jul 27 2022

Author: Guest contributor

When you think of scientific images, you may think of graphs or maps and neatly laid out figures – but what about the other side of scientific imagery? 

Scientific research can produce truly breath-taking images – from the first X-ray diffraction patterns of DNA (below, left) to radio images of neighbouring galaxies (below, right). And whilst pictures and images like these are visually appealing, they also showcase some amazing advancements in science.

Art of Science © SpringerNature 2022

Here at Springer Nature, our Communities and Engagement team have a front row view of some amazing images from the latest research shared through the Springer Nature and Nature Portfolio Communities. Whether it be never-before-seen images of research, a behind the scenes view of the scientific process, or drawings created by authors themselves, these images can bring science to life in new ways that continue to amaze us! Here, we wanted to share and celebrate some of these recent, remarkable images.

Bringing new protocols to life

new protocols to life © Springer nature 2022
These striking images show Ctenophores, also known as comb jellies. They are a form of invertebrate found in all oceans. As well as refracting light, they can also bioluminesce – creating striking visuals like these. Whilst beautiful, they can be hard to study in their deep-sea habitats. William Brown and Jason Presnell shared these images in a behind the scenes look for the Springer Nature Protocols and Methods Community, exploring their work in outlining a protocol for studying Ctenophores in the lab. 

Read about the research behind these amazing images here>

Showcasing simulations

As well as images and videos, simulations can also be leveraged to share the latest research in eye-catching ways. Philip Loche, a post-doctoral researcher from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, did just that - sharing a number of videos with the Nature Portfolio Chemistry Community, showing computer simulations used to study the evaporation energetics and kinetics of a chloride ion from liquid water. 

Find out more and take a look at the simulations here

Blog Art of Science - tackle challenges © SpringerNature 2022
Illustrating new solutions to tackle existing challenges

Cultured or lab-grown meat is an emerging technology that is increasingly being discussed as a potentially sustainable solution to the environmental, ethical, and health impacts of animal-based agriculture. Growing cells in the lab has the potential to address these issues but, to date, studies have relied on the use of certain animal-derived products.  Andrew Stout, a PhD candidate at Tufts University, shared this immunofluorescence image of bovine cells to illustrate research carried out to create a new type of animal-component-free media to aid the field’s progress.

Read more about this work in the Nature Portfolio Bioengineering Community

Blog Art of Science - Another side of volcanoes © SpringerNature 2022
Showing another side of volcanoes

This image shows a number of radiolarian fossils’ from Eastern Australia. Radiolarians are single-celled and soft-bodied organisms that absorb silica from seawater to form elaborate skeletal structures, and these particular fossils are over 300 million years old. Goran Andjic from Utrecht University shared this striking image with the Nature Portfolio Earth and Environment Community to highlight how geochronology can be used use to estimate the age of volcanic rocks.

Find out more about this research

Shedding light on long-held theories

Blog Shedding light on long-held theories © Springer nature 2022
Eleanor Hay, a PhD student from Monash University, showcased her research into drivers of speciation alongside beautifully detailed, hand-drawn images of Honeyeaters – Australia’s largest bird. Eleanor shared more about this research, which used comparative phylogenetic methods to explore the drivers behind Honeyeater speciation – and how this relates to Darwin’s proposals – in a Behind the Paper post for the Nature Portfolio Ecology and Evolution Community

Read more about this work

As well as exploring the stories behind the latest research across the Springer Nature and Nature Portfolio Research Communities, we regularly share beautiful images through the Nature Portfolio Instagram account. Visit the Nature Portfolio on Instagram and follow along to see the latest images updates from research teams around the world.

About the Author
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Sorrel Bunting is Head of Communities and Engagement at Springer Nature, and is based in London. Her main focus is providing opportunities for researchers to engage and share their work with different audiences, including through the Nature Portfolio and Springer Nature Communities.


Author: Guest contributor

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