From paper to pangolins
Awhile ago I came across this fantastic paper sculpture of a human torso, complete with removable organs, built by Horst Kiechle. The anatomical detail is spectacular, considering Kiechle constructed the sculpture entirely from 200gms/sqm white card. You can even build your own organs, using instructions found here.
I soon found that the internet abounds with paper art crafted by science geeks, much of which is origami. Below are some of the more interesting creations out there.
Origami is derived from the Japanese words “ori” meaning “fold” and “kami” meaning paper. The traditional concept of origami is folding paper to create objects using only one piece of paper with no cuts or glue.
And, while not officially origami (the use of two paperclips and several staples is involved), the Origami Embryo is probably the most clever tutorial on embryonic development I’ve seen. Using three sheets of paper, Dr. Diana Darnell demonstrates how the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm fold upon one another to create embryonic organs. Working through this tutorial would likely help countless biology undergrads who are primarily tactile or visual learners get a better grasp (har har) on early organogenesis.
Finally, an origami post would be incomplete without at least one Eric Joisel (1956-2010) creation. Here’s to you, beloved pangolin: