September 27, 2007—A striking image of seaweed shows the complexity of even the simplest organisms.
Seen here is Irish moss—Chondrus crispus—a common Atlantic red alga that is routinely harvested for its carrageenan. The chemical is used as a thickener in many processed foods.
Andrea Ottesen of the University of Maryland's Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture shared a first place prize in the photography category of the 2007 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge for the natural light photo.
The awards are given out each year by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science for the imagery that best conveys complex scientific information and concepts. This year the winners are announced in the September 28 issue of Science.