A rat spinal cord showing the distribution of three types of glutamate and nitric oxide synthesizing enzymes. FASEB 2012 BIO-ART WINNER, LI-HSIEN LIN

The images put the “art" in "smart": Pink and green enzymes in a rat spinal cord form an ethereal butterfly; round blue muscle cells bubble out from green stem cell factories; long, thin blue fibers converge in a vortex-like optic nerve. These are just a few of the captivating, and informative, images that took top honors in the first annual Bio-Art competition, hosted by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

FASEB announced the 10 winning images, chosen from over 100 entries, on Monday, May 21. The contest was open to original images or graphics produced by current or former researchers who are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or are members of any of the 26 FASEB professional societies, such as...

“The competition elicited an enthusiastic response from the biomedical research community and received outstanding scientific and engineering images from top research institutions across the country,” said FASEB President Joseph LaManna, in a statement.

FASEB featured the winning images at its 2012 Centennial Reception, and they'll later go on display at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

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