Alexander Tsiaras: The Birth Series

Alexander Tsiaras: The Birth SeriesAlexander Tsiaras, an artist for over 25 years, has focused in the last decade on creating works which utilize a combination of images from cutting edge technologies and real human data. He has developed much of this software himself, and the derived scans have been the source of inspiration for many of his works. The art transcends the unseen technology and allows us to experience the awe and beauty of our own physical existence and fragility.

Mr. Tsiaras, an award winning artist and photojournalist, has a new book due out later this year — The Architecture and Design of Man and Woman : The Marvel of the Human Body, Revealed. He’s also founder, president and CEO of Anatomical Travelogue.

Sensory Homunculi

Sensory Homunculi Continuing with the theme initiated in my April Nineteenth post.

This homunculus visualizes the connection between different body parts and areas in brain hemispheres.” Created by Jaakko Hakulinen.


This model shows what a man’s body would look like if each part grew in proportion to the area of the cortex of the brain concerned with its sensory perception.” From The Natural History Museum, London.

Blue “Blood”

Blue BloodAndrea Seigel (author of Like the Red Panda) deconstructs imagery used to create the “aesthetic of fear” which has become increasingly prevalent in the marketing of feminine hygiene products. The comments related to her post, as well as those related to the Cup of Chicha post that point to it, cite many other good examples. One particularly insightful comment does a pretty good job of explaining why blue is the color of choice when a representation of menstrual fluid is required. I wonder how they specify exactly what shade of blue they want to use. What would be the appropriate Pantone color?

PBS: Probe the Brain

PBS: Probe the BrainBeginning in the 1940s, Canadian brain surgeon Wilder Penfield mapped the brain’s motor cortex — the area that controls the movement of your body’s muscles. He did this by applying mild electric currents to the exposed brains of patients while they were in surgery. Now you can relive his exploration of the brain. In the following feature we give you an electric probe and an exposed brain. All you need to do is shock and observe.” In addition to this somewhat dated shockwave, the site also offers an infographic (bottom of the page) illustrating how much of the brain’s motor cortex is devoted to controlling specific body parts. Seems like a good candidate for inclusion in the next Tufte book.

Inside Out Collection

Inside Out CollectionThe buildings and surroundings of La Trobe University, Beechworth Campus, were once occupied by Mayday Hills Hospital, a large psychiatric hospital which opened in 1867 and closed in the 1990s. The Inside Out Collection contains art by local residents, inspired by their memories of time there as patients. The work on display is representative of a much larger body of work.

NIH: Medical Posters

NIH: Medical PostersMedical posters drawn by artists at the National Institutes of Health help alert scientists to seminars on specialized subjects and attract public attention to medical topics of broad interest. Ideas for posters are most often gleaned from the human body itself. Many of the configurations found in science – a cell, muscle, or calcium channel – have great graphic appeal which the artist can often readily adapt into an eye-catching poster. The following medical posters represent a small fraction of the total number of posters designed over the past 30 years by artists in the NIH’s Medical Arts and Photography Branch.” [via Vigna-Marú]

Mad Andrew : “There was TEXT EVERYWHERE”

ALT TEXTMad Andrew presented a poster and shares the experience in this LiveJournal entry. “There was TEXT EVERYWHERE. Period. Around the plots. In the plots. Under the plots. Not a square inch of the posters were bare. ARG!” Although it sounds like the event he was presenting at wasn’t related to the health sciences, his comments are worth a read no matter what your field of study is. For what it’s worth, I usually recommend that presenters refrain from laminating their poster unless it’s going to several conferences. It makes the poster more difficult to transport and nine out of ten posters end up in a hotel room trash can. If your heart is really set on lamination, I strongly suggest specifying a matte finish so glare from the lights in the room don’t interfere with the poster’s readability.

CELLS alive!

CELLS aliveThis website represents over 25 years of experience capturing film and computer-enhanced images of living cells and organisms for education and medical research. A stock video library provides producers with a range of subjects, and includes both live recording and computer animation. A variety of immune cells, bacteria, parasites, and aquatic organisms are available for licensing for educational, broadcast, and commercial use.”

Paolo Mascagni’s Anatomia Universa

Paolo Mascagnis' Anatomia UniversaThe unfailingly amazing Giornale Nuovo has done it again by pointing to the University of Iowa?s online exhibition of Paolo Mascagni’s Anatomia Universa. The “Zoomify” feature helps viewers see the fine detail each plate contains.

The university’s John Martin Rare Book Room collects “original works representing classic contributions to the history of the health sciences from the 15th through 20th Centuries.” Other online exhibits from the collection currently include Pietro Da Cortona’s Tabulae anatomicae and Johann Remmelin’s Catoptrum Microscopicum

The Cartoon Guide To Genetics

The Cartoon Guide To GeneticsFeatured in a UC Berkeley Library exhibit:

San Francisco artist Larry Gonick and UC Davis microbiologist Mark Wheelis use their artistic abilitiy and scientific knowledge to present a humorous look at genetics for a lay audience. Gonick has generously loaned The Bancroft Library the original art work for The Cartoon Guide to Genetics (1991).

Presented here are sections entitled “The Spiral Staircase” and “Genetic Engineering,” specifically referencing the work of Watson and Crick on the DNA double helix, and Cohen and Boyer on recombinant DNA.

Gone Fishin’

Gone Fishin Will be back on or around the 29th. If you have a moment, please check out Flickr, the newest social networking site that just debuted at O’Reilly’s Emerging Technology Conference. It’s very good at handling visual media. Once I get back to business here, I plan on starting a community space on Flickr for whatever tiny audience TEHI might have. You’ll be able to comment on whatever’s posted here and I’m thinking it might be interesting to try to get a weekly chat going. In the meantime, please feel free to join the TEHI group that’s already been established there.

Anatomical Collages by Frederick Sommer (Part 2)

Frederick Sommer (Part 2)Last December, I posted about the anatomical collages of Frederick Sommer. A couple days later, James Luckett was kind enough to share this memory of Sommer:

i actually got to spend a few days with frederick sommer a few years before he died. besides the collages, he was an art photographer — one of the last great living masters — but he did lots of different things. anyway, he said that the human body was so beautiful that it was possible to put it together in any way and still have something astonishing.

LSD Blotter Art Gallery

LSD Blotter Art Gallery“Black market LSD blotter generally bears art or a design printed on the paper. The paper is perforated into individual “tabs” or “hits” approximately 1/4 in. x 1/4 in. The sheets are then dipped in a solution containing a known quantity of LSD or have LSD applied with a dropper creating a relatively consistent dosage per tab.

“The creation of blotter has become an underground art form leading to an array of creative and stunning designs. It is likely that a few of the blotter designs shown have never been dipped and were created purely as art.

Below are scans and photos of more than 75 examples of blotter showing various designs and art. Some show entire sheets while others show only a few hits. Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.”

Papier-M?ch? Anatomical Models

Papier-M?ch? Anatomical ModelsOnline companion site for an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

People have always sought better ways to illustrate and understand the structure and functions of the internal body. Before the discovery of x-rays in 1895, the only practical way to see inside the human body was to observe an operation or a dissection. Cultural and religious beliefs about dissection often made the practice illegal, and even when dissection was acceptable, cadavers were difficult to obtain.

“Moreover, lack of refrigeration meant that bodies decayed swiftly. Dissections had to be performed during the cooler months, and were impossible in warmer climates. Frustrated in his studies, a young French medical student devised an elegant solution — papier-mâché anatomical models.

Site includes a brief overview of anatomical education methods and a gallery page with enough material to give a sense of how much detail the creators were able to squeeze from this decidedly low-tech raw material.

Gallery of Nostrums

Gallery of NostrumsThe FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) website offers this collection of marketing ephemeria related to the patent medicine industry at the end of the 19th century. These are the kinds of products that gave us the phrase “snake oil salesmen”. It’s a little sad to see that many of our culture’s obsessions (and the rhetoric used by the unscrupulous to cater to them) have changed so little over the hundred years. [via medpundit]

Developmental Biology Cinema

Developmental Biology CinemaMaintained by the Society for Developmental Biology, the Developmental Biology Cinema “…grew out of a breakfast meeting at the 13th International Congress of Developmental Biology held in Snowbird, Utah, July, 1997. The aim of this project is to get video sequences of developing embryos (organisms), and experimental techniques, from the developmental biologist’s lab to the eyeballs of interested individuals in a user-friendly and inexpensive form.”

Anatomical Collages by Frederick Sommer

Anatomical Collages by Frederick SommerA collection of collages that appear to made of cut up anatomy textbooks. His choice of source material seems pretty ironic given the fact that anatomical illustration is all about putting the pieces exactly where they need to be in relation to the other pieces. Although visually interesting, decontextualized anatomy is basically information free. It’s also interesting to think about what he had to do to the original prints as being akin to surgery or autopsy. Sommer’s obituary. [via Consumptive]

Site Redesign (cont’d)

Site RedesignOkay, here we go. The first draft of the redesign is up and running. I still need to bring over some left sidebar content from the old version, all the old posts need to be converted so they work with XHTML/CSS and the CSS needs to be cleaned up. I’ve only had a chance to test it in IE6 and Mozilla 1.4 so if you notice something that seems broken, please let me know. I hope to begin posting for real before Christmas. Thanks for your patience.

Site Redesign

Site RedesignI’m currently in the process of redesigning The Eyes Have It so posts are going to few and far between for a while. The new version is going to have a tableless, CSS-based, three-column layout and will include a side blog and a random image rotator. A snapshot of the progress that’s been made thus far can be found here. It obviously has a ways to go. From time to time the current draft version might be live here as I test it in Blogger.

3-D Brain Anatomy

3-D Brain AnatomyGood example of a well-executed Flash application found on the site supporting the PBS series The Secret Life of the Brain. Might be considered somewhat simplistic, but its level of complexity is probably appropriate for its intended audience/purpose. My only problem with the interface is that you can’t reach the limbic system by clicking on the brain, you can only reach it by using the buttons in the lower right. If you don’t explore those controls, you’ll only get part of the experience.

Skulls in Culture

Skulls in CultureSkulls in Culture, part of a California Academy of Sciences exhibit, examines the power of the skull as image/symbol – a power that doesn’t seem to be held by any other bone in the skeletal system.

Skulls do more than just protect the brain ? they also stimulate the mind. Often symbols of mortality and power, they have been employed in human ceremony, ritual, and art for tens of thousands of years. From the ancient animal skulls in Paleolithic burial sites to the curlicued cattle skulls that float like spirits over Georgia O’Keefe?s canvas mountains, cultures around the world have turned to skulls to express ideas about both life and death.

British Library Exhibitions: Pictures of Health

British Library Exhibitions: Pictures of HealthArchive of an exhibit that took place at Homerton Hospital in 2001.

… looks at how artists in many different cultures and times have portrayed our health and the people who keep us in good health ? the healing professions.

Drawing on the wide range of books from around the world in the British Library, the exhibition includes both serious and humorous pictures of diagnosis and treatment, prevention and cure, and doctors and nurses themselves.

Dr. Fungus Image Bank

Dr. Fungus Image BankDr. Fungus promises to be “your on-line reference to all things mycological!”

The Image Bank contains hundreds of images of fungi that range from images of microscopic fungi in tissue to macroscopic images of people, animals, and plants that have fungal infections. Many of the images are also available as pre-packaged PowerPoint slides.

The image bank seems fairly extensive and each image is annotated. The PowerPoint slides are more than just an image slapped into a blank presentation. Each slide conveniently contains the same annotations that are in the image bank and is pre-formatted. The formatting is simple and unobtrusive and should be pretty easy to tweak if you would like it to more closely resemble the rest of your presentation. The only thing I didn’t like is that each slide seems to have the The Dr. Fungus URL in large purple letters running up the left side. This can easily be deleted.

2004 Frank Netter Award

2004 Frank Netter AwardFrom the HeSCA Listserve:

Do you know of any remarkable health education materials that make a significant impact on the way health-related information is communicated?

The Vesalius Trust for Visual Communication in the Health Sciences is accepting applications for the 2004 Frank Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education. This award is given annually to an individual, institution or company in recognition of the development of visually oriented educational materials that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of education and research in visual communication for the health sciences. There is no application fee. The award includes a plaque, monetary award of $1,000 and travel expenses to receive the award at the annual meeting of the Association of Medical Illustrators. Past winners have made innovative contributions in healthcare education including anatomical models, books, simulators, videotapes, and interactive learning materials.

Anyone interested in applying for this prestigious award can get an application and additional information on the Vesalius Trust Web site.

Application deadline for the 2004 award is December 12, 2003.

Thanks to Karen Adsit, Walker Teaching Resource Center, Univ. of Tenn. at Chattanooga

Scientific Posters: Vertical vs. Horizontal

Scientific Posters: Vertical vs. HorizontalThis issue gets raised whenever we’re preparing a poster for a researcher who is presenting at a conference just about anywhere outside North America: Why do domestic conferences usually specify a horizontal aspect ratio for scientific posters when conferences elsewhere (especially in Europe) usually require posters to be vertical?

This came up again recently and the discussion ended with the usual unsatisfactory conclusions (tradition and the American preference for more personal space). I’ve tried finding an answer online and although there are many, many sites devoted to creating good posters, none of them dealt with this question.

Personally, I prefer working with the horizontal format because it seems to lend itself to creating a good poster; the flow of the content is just more fluid and there are more options available for making it all fit together.

If you have any insight into this apparent cultural divide in the conference world, I’d appreciate it if you would drop me a line or share it in a comment attached to this entry. Thanks.