Art of Science winners put global health challenges under the microscope

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

The winners of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s Art of Science competition are revealed as Australian medical researchers tackle some of the biggest challenges facing global health. The announcement comes just ahead of the Art of Science exhibition opening on 10 August 2018 in celebration of National Science Week.

Organisation/s: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

Media Release

From: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

The winners of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s Art of Science competition are revealed as Australian medical researchers tackle some of the biggest challenges facing global health.

The announcement comes just ahead of the Art of Science exhibition opening on 10 August 2018 at Melbourne's Federation Square in celebration of National Science Week.

Showcasing the finalists of the Art of Science competition, the exhibition is a 'backstage pass' into the vast and complex research areas of cancer, infectious diseases and immune disorders.

Director of the Institute, Professor Doug Hilton said Art of Science provided the public with a compelling insight into how medical researchers worked to better understand, prevent and treat disease.

“The images and videos in the Art of Science exhibition provide magnificent insight into the challenges our biomedical researchers are working to address – whether that’s stopping aggressive cancers from spreading in the body; finding ways to outsmart the malaria mosquito; or pinpointing what is going awry in development where birth defects such as spina bifida and cleft palate occur,” Professor Hilton said.

Professor Hilton said the exhibition offered a unique opportunity for the public to grasp how rapid advances in medical imaging technology were enabling researchers to visualise the unseeable in increasingly stunning detail, including 3D and 4D.

“Visitors to the exhibition get the chance to 'fly through' breast tissue or see what blood vessels look like when they migrate to form conduits that transport food, oxygen and germ-fighting immune cells throughout the body,” Professor Hilton said.

A time-honoured competition

The Art of Science exhibition is also a showcase of 20 finalists from the Institute’s annual Art of Science competition, which was founded in 1997 by former Institute director and esteemed scientist Professor Suzanne Cory.

This year, the competition judges are from Museums Victoria and include CEO Lynley Marshall; Senior Curator for Human Biology and Medicine Johanna Simkin; and Collections Curator for Engineering Matilda Vaughan.

“My selection was made on the basis of artistic appeal, representation of subject matter and the degree to which the image engaged me with the subject,” Ms Marshall said.

Art of Science 2018 - still image category award winners

-Winner: Gobstopper by Brendan Ansell, Balu Balan and Aaron Jex
-2nd place: Starry Starry Night by Francine Ke
-3rd place: Creature of the Deep by Zoe Grant

Moving Image in Science -  video category award winners

-Winner: Breast Cancer Exploration by Caleb Dawson
-2nd place: Generations of Danger by Justin Muir and Tom Weber
-3rd place: The Big Bang by Carolyn de Graaf and Christine Biben

The public also get to have their say. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to vote for their favourite image in the ever popular People’s Choice Awards for the chance to win a framed print of their choice.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute is Australia's oldest medical research institute where more than 850 medical researchers are working to tackle some of the biggest health problems facing humanity.

Art of Science exhibition
10am-6pm daily, 10-19 August 2018
The Atrium, Federation Square
Free entry
https://www.wehi.edu.au/artofscience

More information and behind the scenes videos: https://www.wehi.edu.au/artofscience

Attachments:

  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)
    Web page
    Breast cancer exploration by Caleb Dawson, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)
    Web page
    The big bang by Carolyn de Graaf and Christine Biben, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)
    Web page
    Generations of danger by Justin Muir and Tom Weber

News for:

Australia
VIC

Multimedia:

  • Gobstopper by Brendan Ansell, Balu Balan and Aaron Jex
    Gobstopper by Brendan Ansell, Balu Balan and Aaron Jex

    Giardia is the most common human parasite, causing acute diarrhoea particularly in children in developing countries. Infection occurs when people ingest ‘inactive’ parasites – called cysts – found in contaminated food, soil or water. Once ingested, the parasites become ‘active’ and can cause health problems. If threatened, the parasites convert back into cysts, a protective measure that allows them to survive for long periods. This image shows the 3D structure of multiple proteins that the parasite needs to transform into a cyst. Brendan, Balu and Aaron are using this structure to find a way to stop parasite transformation from occurring. Just as a colourful gobstopper could block the transmission of words, blocking these proteins could halt the spread of disease by stopping the parasite from carrying out its survival tactic.

    File size: 731.5 KB

    Attribution: Brendan Ansell, Balu Balan and Aaron Jex

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    Last modified: 09 Aug 2018 8:00pm

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  • Creature of the deep by Zoe Grant
    Creature of the deep by Zoe Grant

    This image, resembling an electric creature of the night, is actually lots of little blood vessels sprouting from a small piece of bone that Zoe cultured in the laboratory. Blood vessel development is essential for blood to flow throughout the body, keeping tissues and organs nourished and healthy. Sometimes, however, blood vessel development can continue unchecked and cause problems where vessels leak, burst or grow into places they should not exist. Such problems can contribute to cancer and chronic inflammation, as well as eye diseases that can lead to blindness. Using a technique called live-imaging, Zoe is able to observe in real time how blood vessels form and grow. She wants to see what normal development looks like so as to identify what might be going wrong in abnormal cases where vessels grow out of control. Understanding how blood vessel development is regulated could help researchers find ways to block excessive growth and prevent the causes of vascular diseases.

    File size: 15.4 MB

    Attribution: Zoe Grant

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  •  Starry starry night by Francine Ke
    Starry starry night by Francine Ke

    Far off in a night sky nestled amongst stars, this glowing orb is an embryo holding secrets of life and development. Look closely and you will see it is made up of thousands of little specks – each one an individual cell. During normal development, some cells grow and multiply while others undergo apoptosis – a form of cell death important for maintaining health. The glittering coral pink, gold and red cells are those undergoing apoptosis in this embryo. Francine’s research is focussed on understanding the fascinating interplay between apoptosis and embryonic development. For instance, did you know that our fingers and toes first develop as webs, and individual digits are later formed as a result of apoptosis? A lack of cell death or too much of it can lead to birth defects such as spina bifida and cleft palate. Researchers are working to understand how the balance between cell survival and cell death impacts upon developmental abnormalities.

    File size: 3.3 MB

    Attribution: Francine Ke

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  • Art of Science exhibition 10-19 August Federation Square

    Art of Science exhibition 10am-6pm daily, 10-19 August 2018 The Atrium, Federation Square Free entry https://www.wehi.edu.au/artofscience

    File Size: 41.0 MB

    Attribution: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

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    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2018 8:00pm

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  • Behind the scenes with Caleb Dawson, Art of Science 2018 moving image winner

    Breast cancer researcher Caleb Dawson is trying to understand how breast cancer grows and spreads from breast tissue into other parts of the body. Breast tissue is made up of branch-like ducts. As part of his research, Caleb grew breast cancer cells inside ducts in the laboratory and coloured them pink and yellow to track their behaviour. Most of the cancer cells in Caleb’s experiment remained confined to the ducts, showing that the ducts were a powerful barrier for keeping cancer under control. But some cells managed to escape and find their way into the lymph node – the glowing pink hub in this image. Unfortunately, the lymph node is a gateway for cancer cells to travel beyond the breast and throughout the body. Understanding how cancer cells escape from the ducts into the lymph node is important for designing new treatments that stop breast cancer from spreading.

    File Size: 69.7 MB

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  • Gobstopper by Brendan Ansell, Balu Balan and Aaron Jex | Still image winner

    Behind the scenes: Gobstopper by Brendan Ansell, Balu Balan and Aaron Jex | Art of Science Art of Science still image winner Giardia is the most common human parasite, causing acute diarrhoea particularly in children in developing countries. Infection occurs when people ingest ‘inactive’ parasites – called cysts – found in contaminated food, soil or water. Once ingested, the parasites become ‘active’ and can cause health problems. If threatened, the parasites convert back into cysts, a protective measure that allows them to survive for long periods. This image shows the 3D structure of multiple proteins that the parasite needs to transform into a cyst. Brendan, Balu and Aaron are using this structure to find a way to stop parasite transformation from occurring. Just as a colourful gobstopper could block the transmission of words, blocking these proteins could halt the spread of disease by stopping the parasite from carrying out its survival tactic.

    File Size: 18.4 MB

    Attribution: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

    Permission Category: Free to share (must credit)

    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2018 8:00pm

    Note: High resolution video files are only available for download here by registered journalists who are logged in.

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