Jessica Lloyd-Jones, Optic Nerve 2008 – 2010.
Blown glass, xenon
Welsh artist Jessica Lloyd-Jones describes her work as merging art, science and technology. All three are certainly present in her sculpture series Anatomical Neon, which she made from 2008-2010. Lloyd-Jones describes the works on her website:
“Blown glass human organs encapsulate inert gases displaying different colors under the influence of an electric current. The human anatomy is a complex, biological system in which energy plays a vital role. Brain Wave conveys neurological processing activity as a kinetic and sensory, physical phenomena through its display of moving electric plasma. Optic Nerve shows a similar effect, more akin to the blood vessels of the eye and with a front ‘lens’ magnifying the movement and the intensity of light. Heart is a representation of the human heart illuminated by still red neon gas. Electric Lungs is a more technically intricate structure with xenon gas spreading through its passage ways, communicating our human unawareness of the trace gases we inhale in our breathable atmosphere.”
Although these pieces are beautiful in photographs, they are much more amazing in motion, so I urge you to visit Lloyd-Jones’ website and see her short videos of the pieces as the chemical light flickers through the organs. (I mean, seriously, check out the Optic Nerve). These pieces give gorgeous, graphic life to the chemical impulses shooting through our bodies and powering our minds.
Blue Pyramidal Neuron – original watercolor painting on clayboard by Michele Banks (All Rights Reserved – Used with Permission)
This week, Science for the People is we’re looking at the ways we try to understand the inner workings of the brain. They talk to University College London researcher Cliodhna O’Connor about patterns in the way the public interprets neuroscience news. And they’ll ask Duncan Astle, Program Leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, about “neuromyths,” popular misconceptions about the way the brain functions.
*Josh provides research help to Science for the People and is, therefore, completely biased.
Posted in Follies of the Human Condition, This Mortal Coil
Tagged Cliodhna O'Connor, Duncan Astle, Medical Research Council, Michele Banks, MRC, Neuroscience, Podcast, sciart, science for the people, University College London
This week, Science for the People is looking at the science and policy of treating drug addiction. They’re joined by psychology professor and researcher Carl Hart to talk about his book “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society.” And they’ll speak to Donald MacPherson, Director of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, about harm reduction strategies to reduce the negative consequences of drug use.
*Josh provides research help to Science for the People and is, therefore, a completely biased and cooperative member of the team.
Last year, I wrote a post about the potential link between autoimmune dysfunction and narcolepsy. Today, a major study published in Science Translational Medicine linking narcolepsy and autoimmunity targeted at hypocretin expressing neurons has been retracted. Ed Yong wrote about the original study when it was released and posted this update on his blog at National Geographic.
Sometimes, even things in big journals (especially big journals?) turn out to be not quite true.
OK Go are known, in addition to their music, for their quirky videos, particularly a no-edit style that reduces “production values” (and costs) while making the whole thing that much more impressive. They’ve done a Rube Goldberg machine and a sound generating car-obstacle course combo. Now they have an entire video based on optical illusions.
One of my favorite things about optical illusions is not that they show that our brain can be tricked (which it can). It is that optical illusions are entertaining proof that the reality we perceive is a processed version of actual reality. Optical illusions represent a hack of that system.
Hat tip to Lauren Davis at io9.