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Visuals add impact to science: Scimex adds stock photo service

Jamie Seidel

WHAT the hell is that? A picture may be worth a thousand words — but it may also inspire to find out what those words are.

This is the winning entry of an Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC)competition aimed at encouraging its universities and researchers to submit enticing and informative material for its new Scimex Multimedia Hub.

“Without images, many important research stories will not get the prominence they deserve,” says AusSMC CEO, Dr Susannah Eliott. “The new Scimex Multimedia Hub gets material off the hard drives of researchers and into a searchable database for the media.”

Telling texture ... Maze brain coral. Source: Olivier Lacza, University of Technology, Sy

Telling texture … Maze brain coral. Source: Olivier Lacza, University of Technology, Sydney. Source: Supplied

In this instance, it’s a splash — showing the intricate structures formed by liquids of different surface tensions as they rebound.

Named ‘Liquid Lace’, the carefully composed image shows the result of a droplet of water and glycerine hitting a film of ethanol.

So, what’s the science in that?

It’s an effect that may have practical applications in the manufacture of integrated circuits.

The picture was submitted by Phred Petersen of RMIT University.

Points of difference ... An intricately detailed view of a mouse embry. Source: Dr Sophie

Points of difference … An intricately detailed view of a mouse embry. Source: Dr Sophie Wiszniak, University of South Australia Source: Supplied

The runner-up was an intricate and colourful cross section of a developing mouse embryo, photographed by Dr Sophie Wiszniak from the University of South Australia.

Finalists included a soccer playing robot (UNSW), a close look at seagrass (UTS), brain coral (UTS) and stained wheat plants (ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls).

The Scimex Multimedia Hub is a new collection of images, graphics, footage and audio being made available to media to help make science stories more compelling.

Inside story ... A look inside a seagrass leaf. Source: Stacey Trevathan-Tackett and Amy