Science Visualized

  1. painting of a bouquet of flowers that includes a yellow rose near the center

    A pigment’s shift in chemistry robbed a painted yellow rose of its brilliance

    The degradation of an arsenic-based paint stripped shadows and light from a still life flower in a 17th century work by painter Abraham Mignon.

  2. Manila, Philippines

    Coastal cities around the globe are sinking

    Of 99 coastal cities, nearly one-third are sinking in some places at more than a centimeter per year, making them more vulnerable to rising seas.

  3. molecular syringes illustrated poking into cell membranes

    New images reveal details of two bacteria’s molecular syringes

    It’s unclear exactly how these species use their tiny injectors, but learning how they work could lead to nanodevices that target specific bacteria.

  4. map of light pollution in the North Sea

    Even the sea has light pollution. These new maps show its extent

    Coastal cities and offshore development create enough light to potentially alter behavior of tiny organisms dozens of meters below the surface.

  5. columns of freshwater ice forming, spikes, scallops and pinnacles

    Freshwater ice can melt into scallops and spikes

    Ice submerged in liquid water can melt into three different shapes, depending on the water’s temperature.

  6. black and white image of a Paratuposa placentis beetle

    These tiny beetles fly fast thanks to wing bristles and a weird, wide stroke

    Minuscule featherwing beetles have evolved a unique way of flying that lets them match the speed of beetles three times as big.

  7. image of a fossilized wasp

    See stunning fossils of insects, fish and plants from an ancient Australian forest

    Thousands of fossils at an Australian site show a rare glimpse into the continent’s wetter history over 11 million years ago.

  8. CT scan image of a head and neck where some tissues and veins appear red
    Health & Medicine

    For 50 years, CT scans have saved lives, revealed beauty and more

    In 1971, the first CT scan of a patient laid bare the human brain. That was just the beginning of a whole new way to view human anatomy.

  9. black and white image of a sponge's digestive chambers with a neuroid cell highlighted in blue

    Brainless sponges contain early echoes of a nervous system

    Simple sponges contain cells that appear to send signals to digestive chambers, a communication system that offer hints about how brains evolved.

  10. A closeup of a southern live oak leaf, shown at 60 times magnification, with the leaf's trichomes in white, vessels in cyan and stomata in purple

    A beautiful oak leaf portrait won the 2021 Nikon Small World photography contest

    The annual competition showcases otherworldly photos that capture microscopic features of nature and science.

  11. Hyloscirtus tigrinus frog eye up close

    Frog and toad pupils mainly come in seven different shapes

    Analyzing over 3,200 species revealed that the colorful eyes of frogs and toads have pupils shaped as slits, diamonds, fans and more.

  12. A photo of the Martian landscape with part of the Perseverance rover in the foreground
    Planetary Science

    See some of the most intriguing photos from NASA’s Perseverance rover so far

    Six months ago, Perseverance landed on the Red Planet. Here’s what the rover has been observing.