Molecular Biologist Creates Amazing Precise Metallic Replicas Of Ancient Fossils And Cells

Image via dadrummond/Instagram

D. Allan Drummond might seem like your usual university assistant professor until you learn about his hobby. He stays true to his calling even after hours, but in a much more creative way. Drummond creates (and showcases on Instagram) incredible replicas of creatures from the deep fossil record that will leave you speechless.

He sculps each creature digitally according to scientific references. He then 3D prints them in wax, casts them in bronze and adds finishing touches by hand.

“So far, as a scientist, I’ve been on a slow journey to the bottom, to the deepest level of detail, from seeking to explain patterns of evolution spanning the tree of life, to probing how cells react to their environment, to tinkering with the pieces and parts of molecules swarming inside those cells,” Drummond said. “The details go all the way down, remaining absorbing and also consequential, worth knowing about and studying. That sensation of unexpectedly interesting detail is what I try to capture in my sculpture”.

See his creatures below.

Biodiversity? 😜 Three species, three metals, and natural variation in finishes, some of which are only transient. A pale shadow of what nature achieves — but using some of her tricks, because she’s a marvelous physicist. 🤓 The thin films laid down during metal oxidation often have bright, varied colors. In the case of these insects, this is an example of structural color, which comes from the interaction of light with surface structures, rather than pigments, which are materials which selectively absorb certain wavelengths of light. All the iridescent insects you’ve ever seen get this striking quality from the microscopic structure of their shells, wing scales, and hairs rather than from a pigment. Similarly, the thickness of the oxidized layer on metal dictates how it will refract light and thus its color, just like the microscopic variations in thickness of oil floating on water produce swirling rainbows. Of course, there are pigments generated by metal oxidation as well; the green color accumulating on bronze statues is a pigment, copper oxide. 😎 #biodiversity #structure #structuralcolor #thinfilm #oxidation #patina #metal #color #insects #pigment #rainbow #inmyhand #abitophysics

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