Molecular bioscience reveals its artistic appeal

29 Sep 2004

'Sweetbox', a delicious image illustrating the pollen from a pigeon pea flower, is just one of the spectacular images born from the research labs of The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB).

IMB will release ten images for sale as prints to raise awareness of the work of its scientists and contribute funds to IMB research.

Entitled the Angstrom Art Collection - an Angstrom being a very, very small unit of length (0.000,000,0001 of one metre) used most commonly when measuring the size of cells and proteins - it was the beautiful structures and images uncovered during research by IMB scientists into DNA and proteins, that provided the inspiration for this collection.

IMB Director Professor John Mattick said it was decided to make the images available to the public following the overwhelmingly positive response to a series of postcards distributed in cafes, with images drawn from Angstrom Art's 'Expose Your Science' competition, which received over 200 entries from scientists Australia-wide.

"People love the images and want to hang them in their homes, offices, surgeries and labs; and why not, they are amazing," he said.

"Our aim is to hold a national competition biannually and sell the prints to raise awareness of molecular bioscience research and provide some additional funds for labs and institutes across Australia. If the best selling images come from Institutes in Sydney or Melbourne, then they will receive part of the proceeds," Professor Mattick said.

Patron of the IMB Angstrom Art project Beverley Trivett of the John Trivett Foundation is working to see further images adapted to gift cards and unique gift wrapping papers, available for sale everywhere.

"Unlike medical research, molecular bioscience is not considered 'sexy' by the general public. Not a lot of people understand it, but its future contribution to improving the health and quality of life of future generations will be staggering.

"The Angstrom Art Collection will help us bring the science closer to the people. The images available for sale online will be kept current so that people can constantly see examples of the great work being done at the IMB and contribute by purchasing an image to enjoy," she said.

Queensland Minister for State Development and Innovation Tony McGrady MP will launch the online sale of the prints on 30 June 2004 at a special event to celebrate the first anniversary of IMB research at its new facility in the Queensland Bioscience Precinct.

The IMB is a research institute working to understand the information contained in our genes and proteins - the very foundation of our existence and our health.

By understanding how and why humans and animals develop the way they do, we will be better equipped to understand the basis of our differences and how and why things go wrong in disease states like cancer.

Fast Facts:

  • IMB Angstrom Art prints will be available for purchase online at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience website from 30 June 2004.
  • Images are approximately 420mm x 594mm, poster-sized prints, produced on high quality photographic paper
  • Cost per print is $55 (excluding GST)
  • Proceeds from the sale of these images will directly support Australian molecular bioscience research initiatives and further development of the Angstrom Art project.