Sign Up for the MACH newsletter

You have been successfully added to our newsletter.

You will be up to date with all our NBC News updates, including special offers

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

Mach

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.

20 PHOTOS

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. 

Dr. Bram van den Broek
  • Share

Second Place

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

Dr. Havi Sarfaty
  • Share

Third Place

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

 

Jean-Marc Babalian
  • Share

Advertisement

Taenia solium (pork tapeworm)

Teresa Zgoda/Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Share

Mold on a tomato

Dean Lerman of Netanya, Israel
  • Share

Lily pollen

Univesrity of Southampton
  • Share

Advertisement

Nerve cells in an embryonic chick

Dr. Ryo Egawa/Nagoya University
  • Share

The inner ear of a newborn rat

Dr. Michael Perny/University of Bern
  • Share

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

Catarina Moura, Dr. Sumeet Mahajan, Dr. Richard Oreffo & Dr. Rahul Tare/University of Southampto
  • Share

Weevils

Dr. Csaba Pinter/University of Pannonia
  • Share

Plastic fracturing on a credit card hologram

Steven Simon of Grand Prairie, Texas
  • Share

Advertisement

The eye of a daddy longlegs

Charles Krebs of Issaquah, Washington
  • Share

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

Levon Biss Photography in Ramsbury, U.K.
  • Share

Mestra butterfly eggs on a leaf

David Millard of Austin, Texas,
  • Share

Third trimester fetus of a fruit bat

Dr. Rick Adams/University of Northern Colorado
  • Share

Down feather of a titmouse

Marek Miś Photography, Suwalki, Poland
  • Share

Advertisement

Dyed human hair

Harald K. Andersen of Steinberg, Norway
  • Share

Sea cucumber skin

Christian Gautier Biosphoto of Le Mans, France
  • Share

Embryonic body wall from a developing mouse

Dr. Dylan Burnette/Vanderbilt University
  • Share

Fungus and a yeast colony from soil

Tracy Scott of Ithaca, New York
  • Share
1/20
MORE FROM mach