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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

ChBE students named finalists in 2020 Science Image Challenge

2020 Science Challenge Images at Willard Airport

Each year, the School of Chemical Sciences invites researchers from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Chemistry to submit a scientific image that informs, educates, and inspires. Two ChBE graduate students are finalists in the 2020 SCS Science Image Challenge.

The winning entries will be displayed on the school’s VizLab, electronic screens, and at Williard Airport. Prizes include a modest monetary award and a certificate. For more information, and to see submissions from past challenges, visit the SCS SIC webpage.

Listed below are the 2020 challenge winners and finalists.

Main Category Winner

Fatal Coronavirus Spike Forest
Tianle Chen, Tajkhorshid Lab graduate student

Department of Chemistry and Center for Biophysics & Quantitative Biology
SARS-COV 2 fuses to and enters human cells upon binding of its spike proteins to human receptors. Our simulation model captures a realistic representation of spike proteins and their dynamics on the surface of the coronavirus (rendered with VMD).

Main Category Finalists

The Colors of Fall
Azzaya Khasbaatar, Diao Lab graduate student

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Presented is a cross-polarized microscopy image of a crystallized polymeric material that is used to fabricate organic solar cells using solution printing. With increasing concentration of polymer solution, molecules start to aggregate and eventually form these crystalline aggregates that look like branches of a tree upon solvent evaporation.

Molecular Machinery II
Matthew Chan, Shukla Lab graduate student
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Proteins are nature’s machines and are responsible for all biological processes. Shown here, the translocation of serotonin into the neuron is facilitated by the membrane protein, the serotonin transporter. The use of molecular dynamics simulations provides an atomistic resolution to uncover how these elusive molecular machines can be regulated.

Apocalypse within serenity
Aastha Sharma, Vura-Weis Lab graduate student
Department of Chemistry
Presented here is a color-corrected scanning electron micrograph of a multilayered semiconductor thin film with carbon tape used to minimize charging effects. The layered film looks like a peaceful ocean surface reflecting a serene sky, juxtaposed against the explosion of rugged carbon tape structure. 

Resilience in the Darkness 
Huei-Huei Chang, Murphy Lab graduate student

Department of Chemistry 
Processed, confocal fluorescence image showing human lung differentiation. Epithelial cells recovered from aerosol exposure and differentiated into goblet (green), ciliated (orange), and club (red) cells. Nuclei stained in blue. I hope this image encourages everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our cells bounce back. So do we!  

Yiming Wang, Lu Group
graduate student
Department of Chemistry 
A false-colored SEM image of gold nanoparticles in a bipyramidal shape. The gold nanostructures exhibit five-fold symmetry along the longitudinal axis. The nanoparticles have 10 facets and sharp tips, resembling the shape of diamonds. The longitudinal diameter of the nanoparticles is around 100 nm, and the transversal diameter is around 30 nm.

Cover Art Category Winner

Star strategy shows sense
Credit: Xing Wang (Department of Chemistry) and Tulsi Voralia (Senior Art Editor-Nature Research)

The cover image depicts an artistic representation of star-shaped DNA nanostructures binding to the surface of dengue virus particles in a polyvalent, pattern-matching fashion for rapid/sensitive diagnosis and potent inhibition of viral infections.

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