Science and Creativity from Studio 360: the art of innovation. A sculpture unlocks a secret of cell structure, a tornado forms in a can, and a child's toy gets sent into orbit. Exploring science as a creative act since 2005. Produced by PRI and WNYC, and supported in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.More from Science and Creativity from Studio 360 »
Smart Programs Read Shakespeare
Library of Dust
|For over twenty years the Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital stored the cremated remains of patients in copper containers. Photographer David Maisel found them, and shows the beautiful — and bizarre — chemical reactions that took place as the canisters corroded in his exhibit, "Library of Dust." Produced by Sarah Lilley.|
Making Portraits Out of DNA
Everywhere we go, we leave a trail of personal information — in the stray hairs that land on park benches, or saliva on the edges of coffee cups. And artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg may be collecting that information, whether you like it or not. Using equipment and procedures now easily available, she extracts the DNA from strangers’ hair or fingernail clippings, and uses it to makes life-like models of people’s faces — people she’s never met or seen. She calls the project Stranger Visions.
The Art and Science of De-Extinction
|Bringing extinct animals back has usually been left to the world of science fiction. But a group of biologists is attempting it in the real world. The organization Revive & Restore, a project of the Long Now Foundation, held a day-long TEDx conference on de-extinction at the National Geographic Society. This is not quack science; some of the research involves Harvard University, UC Santa Cruz, and Wake Forest University, among other institutions. Painter Isabella Kirkland, who is also a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, opened the event with an image of her painting Gone. It looks like a Dutch master’s oil painting, depicting 63 extinct New World species arrayed on a table elegantly: the Carolina parakeet, the golden toad, and in the central place of honor, Martha, the last passenger pigeon, who died in 1914. The passenger pigeon is the preoccupation of Revive & Restore’s Ben Novak, a genetic biologist. “It’s my job to bring the bird back to life.”|
Hollywood Know-How Makes Good Medicine
A Louisiana physician (and amateur filmmaker) teamed up with a cinematographer to invent a system that they say improves the quality and reliability of photos used in medical records — using some basic Hollywood technology.
If just reading the word “drone” makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Americans have been uneasy – fascinated but nervous – ever since unmanned aerial vehicles entered our consciousness about a decade ago. We talked to some artists who are exploring how we think and feel about UAVs, from “Stealthware” burqas and hoodies that make the wearer invisible to surveillance, to drones that dance instead of spying.
A Neuroscientist Throws Science Overboard for Art
Neuroscience is a vast field. Here’s how Greg Dunn describes it: “It’s as if in New York, there’s like a little neighborhood for electro-physiologists, there’s a little neighborhood for the behaviorists and for the cellular specialist. It’s quite a labyrinth.” When he was studying in grad school, Dunn’s neighborhood of neuroscience was epigenetics. “It’s how your body learns,” he says. For example, if a skinny person gains 100 pounds — will their future offspring be prone to obesity? Or if you experience a traumatic event, will your future offspring have anxious dispositions? Our traditional understanding of genetics and inheritance says an individual’s experience doesn’t get passed down to the next generation. But epigenetics studies the ways that our parent’s experiences do affect us.