16 Mind-Blowing Microphotographs of Living Things

Prize-winning microviews of everything from mouse retinas to slime mold: Click here to launch the image gallery
1 of 16

HeLa cell (human cervical cancer cell line)

Fluorescence microscopy; 1500x
Tomasz Szul; University of Alabama at Birmingham, U.S.A. Honorable Mention....[ More ]

Blowfly proboscis

Bright-field microscopy; 60x
Ron Neumeyer; Delta, British Columbia, Canada Honorable Mention....[ More ]

Benthic diatom from the North Atlantic

Differential interference contrast microscopy
Dr. Stephen S. Nagy; Helena, Mont., U.S.A. Honorable Mention....[ More ]

Radula of mollusk

Polarized light microscopy
Dr. Steve Lowry; University of Ulster, Londonderry, U.K. Honorable Mention....[ More ]

Squid embryos

Stereo microscopy
Amelia Harris; Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass., U.S.A. Honorable Mention....[ More ]

Dog flea Ctenocephalides canis

Dark-field microscopy; 10x
Ralph Grimm; Jimboomba, Australia Honorable Mention....[ More ]

Live bovine pulmonary epithelial cells

Fluorescence microscopy
Michael Janes; Invitrogen Corp., Eugene, Ore., U.S.A. Tenth Prize....[ More ]

Cynoglossum officinale (Gypsy Flower)

Dark-field stereo microscopy; 5x
Viktor Sýkora; Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic Ninth Prize....[ More ]

Proboscis of common housefly

Dark-field microscopy; 10x
Ralph Grimm; Jimboomba, Australia Eighth Prize....[ More ]

Living Dinobryon (golden algae)

Differential interference contrast microscopy; 40x
Wim van Egmond; Rotterdam, the Netherlands Seventh Prize....[ More ]

Dictyostelium (slime mold)

Stereo microscopy; 8x
Ron Oldfield; Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Sixth Prize....[ More ]

First known visualization in a living animal of T cells (green) killing target cells (purple)

Multiphoton microscopy [ image captured from video ]
Thorsten Mempel; Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. Fifth Prize....[ More ]

Stamen of Mirabilis jalapa

Confocal microscopy; 100x
Dr. Robert Markus; Biological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Csongrád, Hungary Fourth Prize....[ More ]

Zinnia flower primordium

Epi-fluorescence microscopy; 200-plus images superimposed
M. R. Dadpour; Department of Horticulture, University of Tabriz, Iran Third Prize....[ More ]

Motor neurons in Drosophila melanogaster larva

Fluorescence microscopy; 200x
Dr. Hermann Aberle; Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany Second Prize....[ More ]

Mouse retina

Fluorescence microscopy (quadruple fluorescence); 550x magnification
Thomas Deerinck; National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego, U.S.A. First Prize....[ More ]

risk free title graphic

YES! Send me a free issue of Scientific American with no obligation to continue the subscription. If I like it, I will be billed for the one-year subscription.

cover image Subscribe Now
Share this Article:

Celebrate our 170th Anniversary with us!

Get 2 years of All Access for just $170

Save $28 now! >


Email this Article