In an October 2011 workshop, students in Sara Wylie’s Art:Lab course met with Neal Overstrom, Director of the Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab at RISD, Geoff Williams who is the Manager of the Leduc Bioimaging Facility at Brown and Robbert Creton, Molecular and Cellular biologist with the Brown University Zebrafish Research Group to see their facilities and partner on a couple of ART:Lab class workshops.
Geoff brought down two strains of GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) genetically modified zebrafish larvae (three days old) for imaging with our Olympus inverted microscope. After hearing a brief tutorial on fluorescence illumination by Geoff, students prepared specimens and took both still and time-lapse images that highlighted specific neural structures revealed under GFP fluorescence. At this stage of development heartbeat and blood flow were also clearly visible under non-fluorescence, transmitted light.
For this workshop participants had access to stock Volvox algal colonies for imaging under the Olympus stereomicroscope. Students captured still and time lapse images of these, as well, examining motility (these spherical colonies tumble around in the water column) and the development of daughter colonies.