Life in Perspective

About our “Life in Perspective” initiative

We live in a three-dimensional (3D) world. For technical reasons however, most of the times on paper and on screens two-dimensional (2D) representations are used. For example, even though earth’s surface is in 3D an atlas uses projections to show the surface. However, any projection from a higher dimension (like 3D) into a lower dimension (2D) is at a price. We lose information and gain misrepresentations. In the case where we wish to understand 3D environments without prior knowledge about their structure, 2D representations may simply be misleading. This situation is well known in medical magnetic resonant imaging (MRI), where despite inherent 3D data, medical practitioners as well as patients mainly look at 2D slices and projections making interpretations less intuitive. The issue is particularly striking in the biosciences, when dealing with acquired biological imaging data. Although scientists image biological specimens in 3D, most visualization of the data is performed in 2D. Therefore, large scientific 3D data currently eludes from understanding and straight conclusions.

Due to advances in technology it is possible to visualize the bio-world in 3D with simple tools. Innovative solutions for 3D immersion are mostly found in branches of our society that barely interact with science. “Life in Perspective” aims at building an interdisciplinary bridge between both worlds making the public aware of important discoveries in the life sciences through novel but simple visualization methods. So far we use anaglyph (red-cyan) glasses, cardboards and smart phones, pseudo-holograms and 3D-lenticular poster (3D poster without glasses).

Below you find a collection of motifs which we have printed on 3D posters already, accompanied by the other means of visualizations. The posters are currently exhibited at EMBL Heidelberg, ATC building.

Get involved! If you want to contribute to the initiative or benefit from our experience, please get in touch with us at or via Life in Perspective website.

Samples of 3D posters

Follow the links for each sample and enjoy the images and movies in 3D using either anaglyph Anaglyph glasses (red-cyan) glasses or a cardboard Cardboard holding a smart phone.

Brain neurons
Mouse embryo
Fruit fly embryo
Dictyocysta lepida
Starfish nucleus
Nuclear pore complex
Ceratium ranipes
Corethron criophilum
Tintinnid ciliate
Dictyocysta mitra
Asterionellopsis sp

Samples of 3D prints

HIV virus
Platynereis dumerilii
Dictyocysta mitra

More motives of 3D posters

Nano wire