If you're in New York this coming week, don't miss the images which will be displayed on the high-definition TV NBC screen at Times Square. General Electric -- which owns NBC -- launched last year a competition for the best images taken with its IN Cell Analyzer systems. GE received 84 entries which were judged both by a scientific panel composed of three experts and a popular vote by approximately 1500 people. The two winners are both from the U.S. even if the images submitted came from 10 countries. And they will see the pictures they took in their labs on Times Square for free -- and at a very different scale. But read more for my selection of great scientific images...
Here is my preferred image. It was submitted by Janet Cuy, from Millipore, USA. She focuses on drug toxicity screening and this image shows "rat hippocampal astrocytes stained for tubulin (red), GFAP (green) and DNA (blue)." (Credit: Janet Cuy, link to a larger version)
Here is my second selection. It was submitted by Sylvain Einius, from Bioalternatives, France. His focus is on cancer radiotherapy and this image shows "mouse embryo fibroblasts stained for DNA and cellular damage following irradiation. Stained
for DNA (blue), gamma-H2AX (green) and actin (red)." (Credit: Sylvain Einius, link to a larger version)
Now, let's look at the winners of the competition. The winner of the popular vote was Carmen Laethem of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, North Carolina, US, with an image of "primary pig trabecular meshwork cells from a study in the field of ocular diseases." (Credit: Carmen Laethem)
The scientific panel, composed of three experts -- including one non-user of the product -- selected "an image of human cortical neural stem cells created by Kymmy Lorrain of BrainCells, US, in research on depression and post-traumatic stress disorder." (Credit: Kymmy Lorrain)
More images are available from the GE Healthcare Life Sciences page about the IN Cell Image Competition 2007. By the way, here is a link to the GE In Cell Analyser Systems.
Scientific Computing World provided additional details about this temporary exhibit on Times Square on January 28, 2008. "The winning images were captured on the IN Cell Analyzer 1000. Both winners will be taken to see their images on the NBC screen. The winning entries will also be displayed at the Society for Biomolecular Sciences (SBS) Annual Conference in St Louis in April 2008, and in GE Healthcare’s IN Cell Analyzer Image Calendar 2009. The competition was supported by BioTechniques, and submitted images covered a wide range of applications, including cancer, neurology, cardiology, drug discovery, assay development, neurodegenerative diseases (including Alzheimers), obesity, and dermatology, illustrating the broad application areas of the IN Cell Analyzer systems."
And an article of Alison McCook published by The Scientist on February 29, 2008, "'Gee whiz, that's GE!," you'll discover why GE chose to use its NBC screen to display these scientific images. "GE Healthcare chose to broadcast the images to the public as a way to reach out to people who may feel disconnected from science, says Cathy Howat, marketing director at the company. It should also help the scientists, she added -- broadcasting the winning images (plus 20 or so of the best entries) gives the winners a 'novel way of being able to publish their work in a public way.'"
Cook adds that "the images are scheduled to appear at 7 PM on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 -- when dusk will accentuate the fluorescent markers -- and earlier on Sunday."
Sources: Various websites
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