Give her a hand

February 13th, 2014

Hand-photo LYDIA-MARIE JOUBERT, an electon microscopist and senior scientist at Stanford’s Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine, won the People’s Choice Award in the illustration category of the 2013 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Her illustration — a hand covered with Pseudomonas bacteria — is titled Human Hand Controlling Bacterial Biofilms. It began as a photograph, as the journal Science explains in its latest issue: “While attending a conference at Gregynog Hall in Wales, Joubert photographed a 1.5-meter-high human hand that reaches out of the soil in the hall’s gardens, sculpted by British artist FRANCIS HEWLETT. Then she overlaid micrographs of cultured biofilms, which had been stained with molecular probes to indicate the health of the cells. Those colored green are resistant to antimicrobial treatment — only a rare few are red, indicating that they have been vanquished.” Covering the hand are Pseudomonas bacteria. This item was posted on the Medical School’s news website.