Scientific images magnify nature's inner beauty

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The Independent Culture

In an effort to merge science and art, Science magazine and the US National Science Foundation are mounting the 2010 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. Applications for the competition opened for submission this month.

The goal of this competition, with the daunting title, encourages creative ways to move dry scientific and technological findings out of books and computers and onto captivating images that are aesthetic, evocative and illuminating.

Fractal geometry, double helix and solar flares are examples of the compelling imagery that brings those concepts alive for the public to understand. One of the prior winning entries was an 11.5-foot sculpture that represents the interactions of human lung cells through a microscope constructed with 75,000 zip ties.

Winners will be selected in five categories: photographs, illustrations, informational graphics, interactive media and non-interactive media. The winners will be published in the February 2011 issue of the Science journal and online and on NSF's website.

The deadline for all entries is September 15. Guidelines for submissions to the 2010 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge competition are available:

A video displaying the amazing images for the previous years' winners are posted on the website: