'Art gallery' of cell recognized at ASCB annual meeting

December 08, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA--The eerily beautiful but rarely seen world inside the miniscule cells that compose all living organisms took center stage Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 8, when the winners of "Celldance 2009," the American Society for Cell Biology's annual film and still image contest, were announced at the society's 49th annual meeting.

"Celldance" recognizes still images and videos that are both scientifically important and visually engaging, said Rex Chisholm, Ph.D., who chairs ASCB's public information committee, which sponsors "Celldance."

"Most cell biologists are in large part motivated by the beauty they see in cells every day of their professional life," said Chisholm. "In one sense, working with cells is like working in an art gallery where the art changes every day."

This year's Celldance showcased the startling images and films of 10 scientists from the U.S., Germany, and France. The top winners shared a cash prize of $1,000. The 2009 Celldance winning images and videos are available for public viewing at: http://tinyurl.com/celldance09

Winning the first place award in the Celldance video competition was Angela Stathopoulos of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA, for her film, "2PEF Imaging Captures Gastrulation in Fly Embryos."

In the "still" image category, the first place winner was Aswati Subramanian of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, for "Save the Last Dance for Me," a scanning electron image of the single cell organism Tetrahymena thermophila.

Also in the image category, the second prize was awarded to Michael Shribak of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, for "Sea Creature Radiance," a micrograph of the diatom Arachnoidiscus. The diatom's silicified cell wall forms a pillbox-like shell called a frustule, composed of overlapping halves that contain intricate and delicate markings.

The third prize in still images was won by Graham Johnson of Scripps Research Institute in LaJolla, CA, for "Protein Gymnasts," the first image revealing how the folding pathway of a protein is altered by a chaperone molecule. Johnson was also a winner in the video category, taking second place for his animation, "ATP Synthase."

An Honorable Mention in the still image category went to Kaelyn Male of Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, for "Cryptic Colonic Mountainscape," a micrograph riot of colors that showed the colonic "crypts," the intestinal stem cell niches that constantly replenish the epithelial cell population, in an adult mouse.

In the video category, the third place award recognized "To Paint a Van Gogh in 25 Minutes," by Dennis Breitspecher of Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany.

The Public Outreach Award in video went to Duane Compton of Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH, for a short humorous film called, "Down the Impact Factor Ladder."

Honorable Mentions in video went to U. Serdar Tulu of Duke University for "Zipping Movie," and Emmanuel Derivery of the CNRS laboratories in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, for "Micromaindance 2009."
News media who want to obtain more information and/or the images and video should contact ASCB Science Writer John Fleischman at jfleischman@ascb.org .

American Society for Cell Biology

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