Best Science Photos of the Week (June 15-21)
Courtesy of the Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
This three-dimensional image, from the BigBrain Project, is part of a larger effort to create a high-resolution computer model of the human brain that can serve as a reference point for future studies. 3D imagery is important in brain research because the function of brain cells can depend on where they are in relation to each other.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Ariz.
High-resolution digital terrain models of Mars are created from the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera, the most powerful imager in orbit around the Red Planet. Hitched to NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), it can resolve objects less than 1 meter wide. Seen here are the "moving dunes" of Nili Patera.
Sergio Delgado, Flickr
The three-toed sloth, a tree-dwelling mammal, is among the at-risk animals currently being championed by the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.
This view, captured from the Space Shuttle Atlantis (oriented with north to the right), shows the John F. Kennedy Space Center. At the far right is Mosquito Lagoon and to the left is the Banana River. It's the site of something seriously wrong in nature. Some 111 manatees, 300 pelicans, and 46 dolphins were all found dead in the biologically diverse area.
Simon Elgood, Flickr
No surprise that the Ugly Animal Preservation Society also has this critter on its radar. The appropriately named blobfish's perpetual "miserable" expression matches its present fate, as it often dies as by-catch in deep sea fishing trawlers.
Killerlimpet, Wikimedia Commons
It may look harmless, and beautiful, but the morning glory (Ipomoea violacea or tricolor) flower contains a hallucinogen, lysergic acid amide (LSA). The indigenous people of Mexico used the seeds in ceremonies for centuries before the Spanish invasion. LSA is a natural relative of the synthetic psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
It has been a frightening spring for tornadoes. Here a mile-wide twister, photographed with an extreme wide angle lens, is seen near El Reno, Okla. on May 31, 2013.
Do not adjust your screen settings. Look closely and you'll see those blue rings belong to the poisonous blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata), which is having a ball here stalking its prey in Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
Mt. McKinley, in Alaska's Denali National Park on the morning of June 18, 2013, is seen from a Federal Aviation Administration weather webcam. Temperatures have been soaring past 90 degrees F. (32 degrees C.) in Alaska during a record-breaking heat wave.
Photographic archive of the Barcelona Zoo.
Snowflake the albino gorilla contemplates life at the Barcelona Zoo. Snowflake died of skin cancer in 2003, and scientists recently discovered that he got his white coloring by way of inbreeding.