英语读物:Art under the Microscope

Art under the Microscope

显微镜下的美丽世界
ABC's Ned Potter on the microscope images transformed into things of beauty.

The microscope. In their course of their professional work, scientists often take photos of microscopic objects. And often, the resulting images can be quite beautiful. For thirty years, Nikon, the camera company has held an annual competition to select the most striking photos of objects unseen by the human eye. With a closer look at this year’s winning entries, here’s our Ned Potter.

It looks like stained glass, but it’s really part of a dragonfly. A wheel of some sort? No, it’s the coiled tongue of a saltwater snail. The leaf of a cedar tree, snowflakes in polarized light. Researchers in the lab looking through microscopes may sometimes do the routine but sometimes when they take pictures they create something of beauty. Liposomes, fat pouches used in medicines, or rust fungus looks like cattails in the marsh or somewhere. For thirty years, Nikon, the camera and optics maker has run a competition to find the most beautiful microscope images. And these are some of the winners. The brain of a zebrafish, the embryos of clawed frogs. Some of these pictures are magnified hundreds or thousands of times, others not as much. That’s a mosquito, that’s a plankton with the eye of a needle for scale. The images are often a celebration of living things, but sometimes the most beautiful pictures come from the most mundane things. That is not a rose, it’s soap, slowly draining.

Ned Potter, ABC News, New York.

WORDS IN THE NEWS

1. entry : n-count

An entry for a competition is a piece of work, for example a story or drawing, or the answers to a set of questions, which you complete in order to take part in the competition.

2. cedar : n-count

A cedar is a large evergreen tree with wide branches and small thin leaves called needles.

3. Liposomes : noun

Aqueous compartments enclosed by lipid bilayer membranes; liposomes are also known as lipid vesicles. Phospholipid molecules consist of an elongated nonpolar (hydrophobic) structure with a polar (hydrophilic) structure at one end. When dispersed in water, they spontaneously form bilayer membranes, also called lamellae, which are composed of two monolayer layer sheets of lipid molecules with their nonpolar (hydrophobic) surfaces facing each other and their polar (hydrophilic) surfaces facing the aqueous medium.

4. plankton : n-uncount

Plankton is a mass of tiny animals and plants that live in the surface layer of the sea.

5. mundane : adj

Something that is mundane is very ordinary and not at all interesting or unusual.

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