Thursday, March 09, 2017

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

For two decades, Wellcome Images has presented awards to the best scientific and medical images that enter its collection each year. This year's collection is stunning, with portraits, illustrations, and microphotography vying with 3D models and scans for the title of overall winner.

Here are three, which involve the eye.
This is a composite of 400 images stitched together to show the intricacies of a mouse retina, which is only 3-4 mm across. Blood vessels are in blue while nerve cells are in red and green. Researchers are looking into whether the functions of nerve cells change as vision degrades.
A photograph showing the placement of a intraocular lens ‘iris clip’ during surgery. The acrylic or plastic clip can help treat cataracts and nearsightedness. In this case, it helped a 70-year-old man regain his sight.
This 3D model of a healthy mini-pig eye took 39 hours to print on a 3D printer using the same hard plastic that goes into Lego blocks. It shows the vessels that connect the pig eye to the rest of the pig. The vessels were injected with a contrast medium to allow them to show up in a CT scan. The resulting data was then turned into a 3D model.

And then perhaps as a reminder of the blessings of living in the United States:
An eye doctor treats a patient at a makeshift eye clinic in India.

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