Exhibit celebrates 'The Art of Cell Biology'

Honoring the work of his cell biology students over the past 10 years, Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME) professor Bruce Kohorn created an art exhibit showcasing his students' optical microscopy images.

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Honoring the work of his cell biology students over the past 10 years, Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME) professor Bruce Kohorn created an art exhibit showcasing his students' optical microscopy images.

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The surface of a leaf captured using single-focal-plane confocal microscopy. Green represents cell-surface green fluorescent protein (GFP); blue, chlorophyll; and red, red lipid membrane dye. (Images courtesy of Bruce Kohorn/Bowdoin College)

Called "The Art of Cell Biology" and held Jan. 27 through Feb. 7, 2014, at the college's Visual Arts Center, the exhibit's artwork was all developed using compound fluorescence and confocal microscopy, including single-focal-plane and 3D confocal techniques. A National Science Foundation-funded Zeiss LSM 510 Meta system with 488 nm (UV) excitation by an argon laser and 515 nm (green) emission enabled creation of many of the images, Kohorn told BioOptics World.

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Single-focal-plane confocal microscopy enabled this image of a root: Green represents cell-surface GFP; red and yellow, lipid membrane dye; and red and green, co-localization.

The students who participated in the exhibit gained an understanding of cell structure and function, Kohorn explained. But the students also saw the images' aesthetic value: Noah Gavil '14 said, "You definitely have your moments when you just stop thinking about what you're actually studying and looking for and just think, 'That's awesome; that's a gorgeous picture.'"

To view the full exhibit, please visit www.bowdoin.edu/faculty/b/bkohorn/images/gallery/index.shtml.

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