Arriving today, an exotic world, both foreign and as close as their own skin, will greet travelers moving through Washington Dulles International Airport, as “Life: Magnified,” an exhibit of 46 eye-popping color images of life on the cellular level, opens in the airport’s Gateway Gallery in Concourse C. “Life: Magnified” is a collaborative project of the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Airports Authority) with support from ZEISS.
Mouth parts of a lone star tick. Credit: Igor Siwanowicz, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, Va.
“Life: Magnified” will take visitors through the high-powered looking glass of advanced microscope technology into a wonderland of dynamic cells, colorful molecules, and intricate tissues. The cell world, inside and outside our bodies, is the basis of human health. Many of these breathtaking images of microorganisms, and animal and human cells were taken by NIH-supported scientists in the course of their search for insights into human health and disease. As ASCB President Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz noted, “‘Life: Magnified’ should surprise many at the beauty and daunting complexity of cellular life.”
“Life: Magnified” will open June 4 and run through November at Washington Dulles International Airport. The Gateway Gallery is inside the TSA secure zone accessible only to screened passengers, but a gallery of images and detailed captions of “Life: Magnified” is online at http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Life-Magnified.aspx.
“From the beginning of my scientific career, I’ve wanted to drag strangers and children to the microscope to show them the amazing world of cell life,” says Stefano Bertuzzi, ASCB Executive Director. “It’s all in there—human health, disease, our food supply, our environment. This incredibly beautiful exhibit is a one-time chance to take thousands of strangers on a dazzling trip through the cellular world. As the leading cell research society, ASCB was proud to help organize this but we could not have done it without the collaboration of our partners. I guess there are a lot of us in cell science who want to show off our tiny world to world travelers.”
Bertuzzi also thanked ZEISS for its support and the Airports Authority for its Arts Program, which utilizes the arts to enhance travel experiences at Dulles International and Reagan National airports.
“The Gateway Gallery has traditionally welcomed passengers to Dulles International through its unique and engaging art displays,” said Christopher U. Browne, Washington Dulles International Airport Manager. “This exhibit will add to the enjoyment of the airport experience while offering travelers an intriguing up close view of life on a microscopic level.”
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