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A daily newsletter charting the future: From technology to the scientific breakthroughs changing our lives.

4th Place Teresa Zgoda Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, New York, USA Taenia solium (tapeworm) everted scolex

Science News

Nikon Small World Contest Reveals Unseen Microscopic World All Around Us

Get close with a tapeworm, investigate tomato mold and see more of the world under the microscope.

 / Updated 20 PHOTOS
Dr. Bram van den Broek, Andriy Volkov, Dr. Kees Jalink, Dr. Nicole Schwarz & Dr. Reinhard Windoffer The Netherlands Cancer Institute, BioImaging Facility & Department of Cell Biology  Amsterdam, The Netherlands Immortalized human skin cells (HaCaT keratinocytes) expressing fluorescently tagged keratin

First Place

This close-up view of a human skin cell won first place in the annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. Dr. Bram van den Broek of the Netherlands Cancer Institute came across this peculiar cell while studying keratin, an important structural protein in skin cells. This cell is expressing an excessive amount of keratin. 

"The expression patterns of keratin are often abnormal in skin tumor cells, and it is thus widely used as a tumor marker in cancer diagnostics," said Dr. van den Broek.

Science and art meet under the microscope in the Small World contest and entries are evaluated on technical proficiency, informational content, and visual impact. 

Scroll through to see the top 20 winners in this year's contest. 

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2nd Place  Dr. Havi Sarfaty  Eyecare Clinic Yahud-Monoson, Israel Senecio vulgaris (a flowering plant) seed head  Stereomicroscopy

Second Place

Dr. Havi Sarfaty of Yahud-Monoson, Israel, submitted this photo because it represents the unseen complexity of a supposedly simple garden flower.

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3rd Place Jean-Marc Babalian Nantes, France Living Volvox algae releasing its daughter colonies Differential Interference Contrast

Third Place

Jean-Marc Babalian of France captured this living volvox algae releasing its daughter colonies. 

 

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4th Place Teresa Zgoda Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, New York, USA Taenia solium (tapeworm) everted scolex

Taenia solium (pork tapeworm)

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Dean Lerman Netanya, Israel Mold on a tomato Reflected Light, Focus Stacking

Mold on a tomato

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University of Southampton/University Hospital Southampton, Biomedical Imaging Unit Southampton, United Kingdom Lily pollen

Lily pollen

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Dr. Ryo Egawa 

Nagoya University, Graduate School of Medicine Nagoya, Japan  Individually labeled axons in an embryonic chick ciliary ganglion Differential Interference Contrast Confocal, Tissue Clearing, Brainbow (labeling technique) 30x (objective lens magnification)

Nerve cells in an embryonic chick

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Nagoya University, Graduate School of Medicine Nagoya, Japan  Individually labeled axons in an embryonic chick ciliary ganglion Differential Interference Contrast Confocal, Tissue Clearing, Brainbow (labeling technique) 30x (objective lens magnification) 8th Place Dr. Michael Perny   University of Bern, Institute for Infectious Diseases  Bern, Switzerland Newborn rat cochlea with sensory hair cells (green) and spiral ganglion neurons (red) Confocal

The inner ear of a newborn rat

Imaris x64 7.6.1 [Dec 4 2012]
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9th Place Catarina Moura, Dr. Sumeet Mahajan, Dr. Richard Oreffo & Dr. Rahul Tare  University of Southampton, Institute for Life Sciences  Southampton, United Kingdom  Growing cartilage-like tissue in the lab using bone stem cells (collagen fibers in green and fat deposits in red)  Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) and Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)

Cartilage-like tissue is grown in the lab using bone stem cells. 

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Dr. Csaba Pint?r University of Pannonia, Georgikon Faculty, Department of Plant Protection  Keszthely, Hungary  Phyllobius roboretanus (weevil)

Weevils

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Steven Simon Simon Photography  Grand Prairie, Texas, USA  Plastic fracturing on credit card hologram

Plastic fracturing on a credit card hologram

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Charles Krebs Photography  Issaquah, Washington, USA  Opiliones (daddy longlegs) eye

The eye of a daddy longlegs

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Levon Biss Photography Ltd Ramsbury, United Kingdom  Exaerete frontalis (orchid cuckoo bee) from the collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History

This Orchid cuckoo bee is from the collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Levon Biss
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David Millard Austin, Texas, USA Common Mestra butterfly (Mestra amymone) eggs, laid on a leaf of Tragia sp. (Noseburn plant)  Incident Illumination, Image Stacking  7.5x (objective lens magnification)

Mestra butterfly eggs on a leaf

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Dr. Rick Adams  University of Northern Colorado, Department of Biological Sciences  Greeley, Colorado, USA  3rd trimester fetus of Megachiroptera (fruit bat)   Darkfield, Stereomicroscopy

Third trimester fetus of a fruit bat

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Marek Mi?Marek Mi? Photography  Suwalki, Poland  Parus major (titmouse) down feather

Down feather of a titmouse

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17th Place Harald K. Andersen Steinberg, Norway Dyed human hair

Dyed human hair

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Christian Gautier  Biosphoto  Le Mans, France  Synapta (sea-cucumber) skin

Sea cucumber skin

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19th Place Dr. Dylan Burnette  Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology Nashville, Tennessee, USA  Embryonic body wall from a developing Mus musculus (mouse)  100x (objective lens magnification)

Embryonic body wall from a developing mouse

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Tracy Scott Ithaca, New York, USA  Aspergillus flavus (fungus) and yeast colony from soil

Fungus and a yeast colony from soil

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