Petite Pictures: The 20 Microscopic Photo Competition Prizewinners

Putting the very small on the big stage, the 35th annual Nikon Small World Competition awards top images
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Upping the ante on microscopic imaging, this reflected light picture of a rusted old coin is magnified 40x. It was taken by Havi Sarfaty of the Israel Veterinary Medical Association in Ramat-Gan, who also won sixth place.....[ More ]


All that glitters may at least be cold. This 40x magnification is of a small snowflake, taken by Yanping Wang at the Beijing Planetarium in China using reflected and transmitted light. Even though it seems no two are alike, snowflakes are indeed symmetrical .....[ More ]


This glowing specimen is actually human skin on fibronectin—which aids in healing and fetal development—with a growth factor. The 90x enlargement—and confocal imaging—was captured by Julia Sero of Children's Hospital Boston at the Harvard Medical School.....[ More ]


Have the time ? This 2.5x shot of a stopwatch was gathered via confocal imaging with depth coding by Rebekah Helton of University of Delaware's Department of Biological Sciences in Newark.....[ More ]


It might take millions to make an omelet. These snail eggs were shot at 200x magnification. Massimo Brizzi of Microcosmo Italia in Empoli, Florence, Italy caught these bitty eggs using differential interference contrast microscopy.....[ More ]


Rising up from the dark, an aquatic fly larva ( Atherix ibis ) was captured here at 25 times its true size. Fabrice Parais at DIREN Basse-Normandie, an environmental agency in Henroville-Saint-Clair, France, used a stereomicroscope to generate this image.....[ More ]


This little lobster appears only 3.2 times larger than life. The lobster-bearing egg was imaged using dark-field by Tora Bardal from the NTNU Center of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Trondheim, Norway. ....[ More ]


John Hart of Hart3D Films in Boulder, Colo., used a polarized transmitted-light technique cranked up to 33x magnification to capture this recrystallized melted mixture of acetanilide, resorcinol and carbon terabromide.....[ More ]


The flow pattern of draining soap film—at 10x magnification—was captured here with a simple microscope by Tsutomu Seimiya at Tokyo Metropolitan University. Striking images of soap have garnered previous photo prizes for Seimiya.....[ More ]


Studying the brain, Dominik Paquet of the Ludwig Maximilians University's Adolf Butenandt Institute in Munich stained different parts of this Alzheimer's-model zebra fish. Its neurons are green, tau proteins appear red, and the pathological tau, blue.....[ More ]


Leave it to the diminutive diatoms to bring out algae's best side. Only 10 times larger than life, this image was captured via dark-field by Arlene Wechezak in Anacortes, Wash. Such diatoms have been proposed as a key biofuel source of the future.....[ More ]


This image of magmatic rock olivine (a mineral which in a pure form is the gem peridot) inclusions, rumbles in at just 5x magnification. Bernardo Cesare of the University of Padova's Geoscience Department in Italy captured them with a polarized transmitted-light microscope.....[ More ]


Getting back to basics, Lloyd Donaldson of Scion Next Generation Biomaterials in Rotorua, New Zealand, snapped this image of simple cotton fibers stained with berberine sulfate, a plant-based extract, and color-depth shaded.....[ More ]


A favorite flower in the southern U.S., the black-eyed Susan vine ( Thunbergia alata ), went under confocal fluorescence and radiation imaging to reveal its hairlike trichomes. This image, magnified at 450x, was plucked by Shirley Owens of Michigan State University in East Lansing.....[ More ]


Scaled down, these fish scales are seen here at 20x magnification. They were captured on a transmitted-light scope by Havi Sarfaty of the Israel Veterinary Medical Association in Ramat-Gan, who has garnered recognition for other microscopic images in previous years.....[ More ]


This young sea star—or starfish, of the class Asteroidea—may have been smiling for the dark-field microscope when this image was taken, but judging from its oral surface, shown here at 40 times life-size, even Bruno Vellutini of the Centro de Biologia Marinha at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, who took the image, may not know.....[ More ]


This image of an anglerfish ovary (from the order Lophiiformes) was reeled in by James Hayden at The Wistar Institute, a nonprofit cancer research organization in Philadelphia. He captured it at 4x magnification on a two-channel autofluorescence scope.....[ More ]


This wrinkled photoresist—a light-sensitive material commonly used in photolithography and other industrial chip-making processes—was blown up to 200 times its size. It was snapped with a bright-field microscope by Pedro Barrios-Perez of the Institute for Microstructural Sciences at the National Research Council Canada in Ottawa.....[ More ]


This image is not an insect's antennae, but rather the flower stem section of a spiny sow thistle ( Sonchus asper ) magnified 150x. The plant, often considered a weed in North America, was imaged on a dark-field microscope by Gerd Guenther of Düsseldorf, Germany.....[ More ]


Heiti Paves from Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia captured this 20x thale cress ( Arabidopsis thaliana ) using a confocal microscope. The little flowering plant has a short genome, making it a common subject of genetic study.....[ More ]

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