Science Visualized

  1. photograph of a roadrunner with a lizard in its beak

    Hundreds of new genomes help fill the bird ‘tree of life’

    More than 10,000 bird species live on Earth. Now, researchers are one step closer to understanding the evolution of all of this feathered diversity.

  2. preserved nerve cells

    These human nerve cell tendrils turned to glass nearly 2,000 years ago

    Part of a young man’s brain was preserved in A.D. 79 by hot ash from Mount Vesuvius’ eruption.

  3. zebrafish

    A glowing zebrafish wins the 2020 Nikon Small World photography contest

    The annual competition features snapshots that use microscopy to reveal some of Earth’s smallest hidden marvels.

  4. false-color microscope image of small virus particles on a lung cell
    Health & Medicine

    Lung cell images show how intense a coronavirus infection can be

    Microscopic views reveal virus particles coating the hairlike cilia of an airway cell from the lungs.

  5. map of Earth's protected areas

    Protecting half the planet could help solve climate change and save species

    An analysis lays out where new land protections could complement existing protected areas to achieve various conservation and climate goals.

  6. toy boats floating right side up and upside down

    Toy boats float upside down underneath a layer of levitated liquid

    The upward force of buoyancy keeps objects afloat even in unusual conditions.

  7. New Guinea Syzygium flower

    New Guinea has more known plant species than any island in the world

    In the first verified count of plants on New Guinea, a team of 99 botany experts identified more than 13,600 species.

  8. side view of a Pacific blackdragon (Idiacanthus antrostomus)

    How some superblack fish disappear into the darkness of the deep sea

    Some fish that live in the ocean’s depths are superblack as a result of a special layer of light-absorbing structures in the skin.

  9. X-ray map of sky

    This is the most comprehensive X-ray map of the sky ever made

    A new X-ray map of the entire sky, using data from the eROSITA telescope’s first full scan, looks deeper into space than any other of its kind.

  10. Map of the heart's 'brain'

    A new 3-D map illuminates the ‘little brain’ within the heart

    Microscopy and genetic studies yield a comprehensive map of the nerve cells found in the heart of a rat.

  11. people at a well in Misiones, Argentina

    Up to 220 million people globally may be at risk of arsenic-contaminated water

    A new world map highlights possible hot spots of arsenic contamination in groundwater.

  12. Planet-forming swirl around star AB Aurigae

    Stunning images of swirling gas and dust may show a planet forming

    Infrared images show a spiral of gas and dust around a star 520 light-years away. A smaller, tantalizing twist hints at where a planet is coalescing.