Mr. Wim van Egmond/Courtesy Nikon Small World1 of 20
Photomicrography is photography though a microscope, and these are some amazing examples. They're the winners of the 2013 annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, which were announced on Oct. 30, 2013. The contest features images taken through microscopes or similar magnifying devices. According to the judges, these top photos display both artistic quality and scientific technique. Click through to see the best 20 entries.
1st Place: Wim van Egmond
Micropolitan Museum, Zuid Holland, The Netherlands
The photograph shows a colonial diatom (Chaetoceros debilis) captured from marine plankton. This species forms a helical chain with long spines. The image was created using a partial image stack, a combination of many images to show this three-dimensional shaped organism in all its details.
Dr. Joseph Corbo/Courtesy Nikon Small World2 of 202nd Place: Dr. Joseph Corbo
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
This photograph depicts a flatmount preparation of a turtle retina from the species, Chrysemys picta (painted turtle). The colorful spheres seen in the image are tiny oil droplets that reside at the boundary of the inner and outer segments of the individual cone photoreceptor cells.
Dr. Alvaro Esteves Migotto/Courtesy Nikon Small World3 of 20
3rd Place: Dr. Alvaro Esteves Migotto
Universidade de São Paulo, Centro de Biologia Marinha, São Paulo, Brazil
To create this image of a marine worm, Dr. Migotto used a simple technique of dark-field microscopy. Because the animal was alive and active, Migotto chose to light it with two flashes, so that the image would not be blurred by the motion of the specimen.
Dr. Kieran Boyle/Courtesy Nikon Small World5 of 20
5th Place: Dr. Kieran Boyle
University of Glasgow, Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology, Scotland
This image shows a neuron (brain cell) from an area of the brain known as the hippocampus. This neuron has been grown 'in culture' — meaning the hippocampal formation was removed from a young rat and the cells were grown in a thin layer in a dish. In the image, the hippocampal neuron is receiving excitatory contacts.
Miss Dorit Hockman/Courtesy Nikon Small World6 of 20
6th Place: Dorit Hockman
University of Cambridge, U.K.
A late stage embryo of the species Chamaeleo calyptratus, the veiled chameleon, showing cartilate (blue) and bone (red). To create the image, Hockman removed the skin and used skeletal stains to dye the cartilage blue and bones red.
Dr. Jan Michels/Courtesy Nikon Small World7 of 20
7th Place: Dr. Jan Michels
Institute of Zoology, Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany
This micrograph shows an adhesive pad of the ladybird beetle, Coccinella septempunctata. Such adhesive pads are located at the tips of the legs, and they possess a large number of small adhesive setae (visible in the lower part of the micrograph), which enable the beetles to cling to surfaces.
Ms. Magdalena Turzanska/Courtesy Nikon Small World8 of 20
8th Place: Magdalena Turzańska
University of Wrocław Institute of Experimental Biology, Department of Plant Developmental Biology, University of Wrocław, Poland
A top of leafy liverwort shoot (Barbilophozia sp.) viewed from the ventral side is shown in this image.
Dr. Pedro Barrios-Perez/Courtesy Nikon Small World12 of 2012th Place: Dr. Pedro Barrios-Perez
CPFC (nanofabrication), National Research Council of Canada/Information and Communication Technologies, Canada
This image shows a PMGI polymer (silicon dioxide on polydimethylglutarimide-based resist) that grew wrinkled after exposure to solvents.
Dr. Michael Paul Nelson and Samantha Smith/Courtesy Nikon Small World13 of 2013th Place: Dr. Michael Paul Nelson and Samantha Smith
Department of Pathology/Neuropathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama
The image is from a section of an approximately 14-day-old mouse and shows one whole lumbar vertebra flanked by intervertebral discs. Muscular tissue is visible to the upper-left and gastrointestinal tissue and contents visible to the lower-right of the vertebra.
Mr. Zhong Hua/Courtesy Nikon Small World14 of 20
14th Place: Zhong Hua
Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Maryland
This mouse embryo was harvested and neurofilament immunostaining, a method used to visualize peripheral nerves and central fiber tracts, was performed on the embryo. The image shows the peripheral nerves in E11.5 mouse embryo.
Dr. Christian Q. Scheckhuber/Courtesy Nikon Small World15 of 20
16th Place: Dr. Christian Q. Scheckhuber
Goethe University, Germany
Podospora anserina (fungus) filamentous tip cells
Podospora anserina is a fungus used in the field of aging research. In the image you can see several elongated tip cells of Podospora exploring the surface of a Petri dish filled with solid growth medium. The orange-yellow color indicates that the tips of these cells are especially active in energy conversion.
Mr. Geir Drange/Courtesy Nikon Small World16 of 20
15th Place: Geir Drange
This sheet weaver spider (Pityohyphantes phrygianus) is hosting a parasitoid wasp larva on the abdomen. The wasp might belong to the genus Acrodactyla, however this cannot be determined without hatching the wasp. The larva will feed off the spider, and eventually kill it. The spider has been mounted under the microscope after having been frozen.
20 Amazing Photos Taken Through MicroscopesSee incredibly close up images that bridge the gap between art and science