Ocularists are specialists that mix art and science to create artificial eyes. The profession has existed since the 5th century and is one we don’t often hear about, yet it is a service for people to create a cosmetic artificial replacement eye that is tremendously important. We’ve featured the work of David Carpenter before here on Webvision, and now there is a wonderful post over on Spitalfields Life about David Carpenter, the Chief Ocularist at the Moorfields Eye Hospital with wonderful photography by Patricia Niven (@PatriciaNiven).
The BrightFocus Foundation has a wonderful post out that describes Yoshinori Ohsumi’s Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded this year. The post covers the work that led up to the Nobel as well as the applications of this work to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) being explored by BrightFocus funded investigator, Debasish Sinha.
This is a fun and pretty accurate Youtube video on how different animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) visually process the world. There is so much to learn from the evolution of the eye and we here on Webvision are always happy to see basic science and the science of vision being communicated to the wider public.
There is a new Explorer special based on an article in the latest issue of National Geographic with Michael Stevens (@tweetsauce), Unlocking The Eyes that is well worth checking out. In the video above, Michael interviews Marty Banks and William Sprague about why many prey animals like goats have the eye anatomy they do. i.e., why are their eyes have horizontal pupils and why their eyes are positioned on the sides of their heads?
One of my favorite movie lines is in Blade Runner when Hannibal Chew tells Roy Batty that he designed his eyes. Until reality catches up with science fiction, eye design is still in the hands of designing prosthetic and attractive, but non-functional eyes.
This intriguing video features David Carpenter of the Ocular prosthetics division of Moorfields Eye Hospital discussing how to make a prosthetic eye to replace one lost due to trauma or disease. Every year, David and his team craft 1,400 customized prosthetic eyes for patients, filling a fundamental cosmetic need.
Ever since the first proposal that light exists as both a wave and a particle, people have been attempting experiments designed to directly view both the particle and wave aspects of light simultaneously. This theory won Albert Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921 and now, a new paper in Nature claims to have done just this.
More on Phys.org here.
Image Credit: Fabrizio Carbone/EPFL
The famous Prado Museum in Madrid has opened up a new exposition for the blind by making a combination of elaborate copies of six of the museum’s masterworks through 3D printing and painted reproductions. The whole idea is for the blind to be able to touch the works and open up a whole new arena of accessibility to the visually impaired.
The Prado is one of the museums that we here at Webvision have not yet made it to. One of these days, that will have to happen.
Update 05/26/2015: NPR has a wonderful article on Morning Edition about the exhibit here.
There is a great TED-Ed video on “The Evolution of the Human Eye” with some very clever animation. The video itself is short and geared towards the college level, and while some of the conjecture at the end contains some far out statements, it is a fun few minutes.
The artist Sargy Mann has painted most of his life, but in his mid-30s, progressive development of cataracts followed by retinal detachments and corneal perforations brought complete blindness. However, Sargy Mann continued to paint, developing an amazing collection of work that has encompassed landscapes, still life work and his latest work, standing figures. The BBC has done a wonderful interview with Sargy linked above.
There is also a longer mini-documentary by Peter Mann that documents the process of how Sargy Mann produces a painting that is well worth your time.
“If you were blind, how would you “see” a photo?”
This is another area where 3D printing can revolutionize people’s lives. Making 3D prints from photographs enables physical representation of imagery. The Singapore based company that is doing this social experiment is called called Pirate3D with easy to use 3D printers. The director of this film short, Marco Aslan tells a story of five people, Gabor, Mario, Meritxell, Yassine and Daniela who have lost their eyesight, yet each has a vivid memory captured in time on a photograph. These photographs were then modeled and printed in 3D allowing each person to re-experience that photograph through touch.
There is a great online chapter covering the Evolution of the Avian Visual System by Scott Husband and Toru Shimizu covering everything from brain evolution in dinosaurs to retinal structure and post retinal pathways.
Also, if evolution of visual systems interests you, don’t forget to read the Webvision chapter Evolution of Phototransduction, Vertebrate photoreceptors and Retina by Trevor Lamb.
The Knowing Neurons blog has a wonderful post on two of the pioneers of neuroscience, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel with a little video of neurons from the visual cortex playing while being stimulated and another video of Hubel and Wiesel describing their cat experiment. Its well worth a few minutes of your time.
Photographer Suren Manvelyan has produced an amazing collection of photographs of eyes over the last couple of years. He started with a phenomenal set of images from human eyes and has now expanded his collections to include 3 sets of animal eyes. Part 1, Part 2 and now Part 3.
Spending some time looking through them is a good investment, particularly if you consider the evolution that has shaped the biology as looking at the different structures of the outer eyes gives you clues as to the environments these organisms live in.
A Lo-Fi video, but largely correct and a pretty well done explanation of why we have blind spots in our eyes and the general physiological reason for why we don’t typically “see” or notice our blind spots.
Jery October has put together a supercut/short film of a montage of eyes in cinema set to Jackson Browne’s Doctor My Eyes. The short was edited by Bob Joyce and presented at the Society of Camera Operators Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony which benefitted The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
It starts with City Lights, one of my favorite Charlie Chaplin films, and proceeds to include images from an incredible cinematic retrospective. See if you can guess which movies they came from.