Chris Forman
Spider, beetle and fruit fly as seen by Scanning Electron Microscopy.
The electron micrographs are close up images of the creatures in all their glory.
"My research is about understanding biology at the molecular level to inspire novel materials and manufacturing methods for engineering. The images of a fruit fly I took during a live demonstration of SEM that we used during science week to try and enthrall the public, particularly youngsters. Although this isn't strictly speaking a photograph, (it's an 'electrograph') and although it's not exactly what I work on, it is a generic representation of the input that biology can have into engineering. The engineering of the fruit fly foot itself is amazing because the level of integration is phenomenal:
Sensors, structural supports, combinations of many materials, flexibility, defence mechanisms, the ability to grip! The whole thing is less than 40 microns across! Once the fruit fly dies, the whole structure is completely recyclable and cannot pollute the ecosystem. It is an engineering marvel and sets the standard for what engineers need to be able to achieve to allow human industry to become sustainable. One fact screams out loud from the electrograph: It is physically possible to build functional structures of this quality. The drosophila itself was supplied courtesy of the olfactory neurobiology group at the MRC lab for molecular biology research at Addenbrokes. The SEM we used is a Zeiss FIB/SEM Cross Beam."

The spider was found running around on the ground outside the IFM and is just a normal average, every day kind of a spider. In one image you can see a torus of what we think is spiders silk.
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