Glowing brains

Derek Lowe of the In The Pipeline pharma blog has stirred up a surprisingly polarized debate over staged lab photos that feature coloured spotlights on test tubes in darkened labs. These cliché and absurd images do a disservice to the researchers they're meant to represent, he argues. Read his two posts (with dozens of comments) on the topic: Memo to the Public Relations Department, and More Purple Radiance.

There's a counterpart to those spotlights. Brains are often represented in a dark background with light emanating from within. Glowing like the dawn of a new era. And then a subgenre of glowing brains: lightning bolts. Nobody tell them the brain only uses about 15 watts. These could jump start your car. But they're fun images too.

Best – a sparkly animated glowing brain!

This has made me realize I ought to change my profile image. There is no actual brain in the photo and the lightning in the sculpture is not meant to be internal sparks from firing neurons, but the cliche lurks. Hmm.

Here's a brain that glows (without being a transgenic pig/jellyfish).

Sadly, it has no electrical discharge.



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