Remember those videos you watched in high school that had, say, animations of a cold virus invading someone's throat cells, and the antibodies looked like tanks charging through there, blasting away at the infected cells? Remember how after watching that, every time you have a sore throat, you picture that battle going on in there? No? Just me? Okay. But seriously - thumb through any science mag and the illustrations and visualizations are not only a huge aid in understanding what's being explained, but also a key part to the publication.
Well, apparently there are awards for those visualizations. The International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge is put on every year by the National Science Foundation and Science Magazine. The winning pieces have been judged according to the quality of the information they convey, as well as the artistic decisions they made within the piece.
I found the image below - an Illustration Honorable Mention - to be scary and beautiful. It depicts some antibodies (currently being researched) called TRA-8 (the green structures) attacking a looming, tentacled breast cancer cell. Click here to read more about the science behind this frightening but also inspiring illustration.
Image courtesy of Emiko Paul, Echo Medical Media