light micrograph


Vitamin C Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

The first week of 2015 is shaping up to be a frigid one, with the National Weather Service reporting bitterly cold temperatures and snow moving across large swaths of the northern U.S.

When the mercury falls, many people start thinking about getting sick. One of the first things they turn to in order to avoid the misery of the common cold or flu is vitamin C. Though many studies have shown that most people see little benefit from taking the vitamin to decrease the incidence and severity of the common cold, the public gulps the stuff down when the temperature plummets.

Reviewing the current research out there, the NIH’s National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health says taking vitamin C does not prevent colds and only slightly reduces their length and severity. The best chance a person has of not catching the flu, meanwhile, is to get the yearly influenza vaccination since there is no conclusive evidence that taking any supplement is useful.

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Art Under the Microscope: Poplar

This is poplar wood, more specifically the inter-vessel pits of poplar in a polarized light micrograph

This is a 17th century side table, one of the most fanciful and wildly creative pieces of decorative arts in the Getty’s collections.

Knowing now that this wood is poplar helps art historians support the attribution to Italy, as poplar was a common carving wood for Italian artists in the 17th century.

Art Under the Microscope is a series that features, well, art under the microscope, as photographed by our conservators to better study and preserve our collections.

Light micrograph of a mouse embryo, approximately 10.5 days post-fertilisation by Jim Swoger. The specimen was stained with a fluorescent marker that highlights the presence of precursor cells to nerve tissue then chemically treated to make it optically transparent. (Royal Photographic Society’s exhibition)