The 16 Best Science Visualizations of 2011 | omnia mea mecum fero |
Toxic barbs on a cucumber’s skin, nanoscopic flakes of metal and a mouse’s technicolor eyeball (above) are just a few of 2011′s top science visualizations.

A panel of judges picked the best of more than 200 entries from 33 countries for the 2011 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

“I think because information technology tools and visualization tools have advanced, people have found ever-increasingly clever ways to display difficult scientific concepts,” said competition judge Thomas Wagner, a cryosphere scientist at NASA, in an interview provided by the contest.

Contest judges made their picks based on visual impact, originality and clarity. The winners, which include “people’s choice” awards as well as honorable mentions, were published online Feb. 2 in the journal Science.

The entries weren’t just limited to photographs. Contest categories also included illustrations, informational graphics, videos and even interactive video games.

See the best of these science and engineering visualizations in this gallery.

Via Lauren Moss