Science

Butterfly wings, micro-bubbles and placenta pop-art feature in Science Photography competition winners

Butterfly wings, micro-bubbles...
1st place in the Innovation category is an electron microscopy image of a micro bubble coated with nano-sized liposomes designed for targeted drug delivery therapeutics
1st place in the Innovation category is an electron microscopy image of a micro bubble coated with nano-sized liposomes designed for targeted drug delivery therapeutics
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In the center of this image is a small bright dot – a single positively-charged strontium atom
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In the center of this image is a small bright dot – a single positively-charged strontium atom
1st place in the Eureka and Discovery category is a photograph of fluid instability patterns on top of a spherical soap bubble in a kitchen sink. The right-hand side shows the traditional behavior of gravitational fluid drainage flow where the colors indicate bubble thickness, while the left-hand side with the holes demonstrates a type of quasi-elastic instability that occurs at the sub-micron lengthscale
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1st place in the Eureka and Discovery category is a photograph of fluid instability patterns on top of a spherical soap bubble in a kitchen sink. The right-hand side shows the traditional behavior of gravitational fluid drainage flow where the colors indicate bubble thickness, while the left-hand side with the holes demonstrates a type of quasi-elastic instability that occurs at the sub-micron lengthscale
1st place in the Innovation category is an electron microscopy image of a micro bubble coated with nano-sized liposomes designed for targeted drug delivery therapeutics
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1st place in the Innovation category is an electron microscopy image of a micro bubble coated with nano-sized liposomes designed for targeted drug delivery therapeutics
1st place in the People and Skills category shows a volunteer wearing an EEG headset as part of a research project measuring the neural responses of 95 people aged over 65 to different outdoor urban environments, from busy roads to a quiet park
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1st place in the People and Skills category shows a volunteer wearing an EEG headset as part of a research project measuring the neural responses of 95 people aged over 65 to different outdoor urban environments, from busy roads to a quiet park
1st place in the Weird and Wonderful category is a stunning close up showing the kaleidoscopic beauty of a butterfly wing. It was captured using atomic force microscopy: a technique that scans a sharp probe across a surface, feeling for changes in height
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1st place in the Weird and Wonderful category is a stunning close up showing the kaleidoscopic beauty of a butterfly wing. It was captured using atomic force microscopy: a technique that scans a sharp probe across a surface, feeling for changes in height
2nd place in the Equipment and Facilities category is this image of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with an acoustic sonar, searching for simulated fuel debris at the bottom of a test pond. The research project is investigating how to localize and identify fuel debris within the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV) at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
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2nd place in the Equipment and Facilities category is this image of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) with an acoustic sonar, searching for simulated fuel debris at the bottom of a test pond. The research project is investigating how to localize and identify fuel debris within the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV) at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
3rd place in the Equipment and Facilities category is this image of the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) machine that creates tailor-made wafers by depositing thin-film crystal layers over the substrate in a single crystal layer based system
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3rd place in the Equipment and Facilities category is this image of the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) machine that creates tailor-made wafers by depositing thin-film crystal layers over the substrate in a single crystal layer based system
3rd place in the Eureka and Discovery category is a cross-section of a 3D tissue engineered model of a neuromuscular junction (NMJ), a chemical synapse formed between a neuron and a muscle fiber. The elongated red stained structures are aligned muscle cells, while the green structures are neurons which can be seen extending towards the muscle in an attempt to form an NMJ
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3rd place in the Eureka and Discovery category is a cross-section of a 3D tissue engineered model of a neuromuscular junction (NMJ), a chemical synapse formed between a neuron and a muscle fiber. The elongated red stained structures are aligned muscle cells, while the green structures are neurons which can be seen extending towards the muscle in an attempt to form an NMJ
2nd place in the Eureka and Discovery category is a remarkable image of a bowl-shaped micro particle that has been designed to assist anti-timor drugs penetrate further into a tumor
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2nd place in the Eureka and Discovery category is a remarkable image of a bowl-shaped micro particle that has been designed to assist anti-timor drugs penetrate further into a tumor
3rd place in the Innovation category is this image showing an amazing assortment of different lattice structures created by selective laser melting, a type of additive manufacturing or 3D printing. These aluminum structures have exceptional strength and stiffness, allowing engineers to significantly reduce the weight of components
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3rd place in the Innovation category is this image showing an amazing assortment of different lattice structures created by selective laser melting, a type of additive manufacturing or 3D printing. These aluminum structures have exceptional strength and stiffness, allowing engineers to significantly reduce the weight of components
2nd place in the Innovation category is an image illustrating high throughput screening, a process used to screen hundreds of polymers to investigate their material properties and how these can influence human mesenchymal stem cells’ ability to turn into bone cells
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2nd place in the Innovation category is an image illustrating high throughput screening, a process used to screen hundreds of polymers to investigate their material properties and how these can influence human mesenchymal stem cells’ ability to turn into bone cells
2nd place in the People and Skills category shows two separate Okra crops, with the larger fruits on the left coming from the automated irrigated crop and the fruit on the right coming from the manually irrigated crop
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2nd place in the People and Skills category shows two separate Okra crops, with the larger fruits on the left coming from the automated irrigated crop and the fruit on the right coming from the manually irrigated crop
3rd place in the People and Skills category is a project from Tactile Robotics group that created a robot arm that can take a selfie
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3rd place in the People and Skills category is a project from Tactile Robotics group that created a robot arm that can take a selfie
3rd place in the People and Skills category is a project from Tactile Robotics group that created a robot arm that can take a selfie
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3rd place in the People and Skills category is a project from Tactile Robotics group that created a robot arm that can take a selfie
3rd place in the Weird and Wonderful category is a look at clay ribbons refined from naturally occurring Sudanese soil. The research is underpinned by the need to understand how we can turn different clays into water-resistant, strong and durable materials with innovative processing techniques, such as geopolymer soil stabilisation
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3rd place in the Weird and Wonderful category is a look at clay ribbons refined from naturally occurring Sudanese soil. The research is underpinned by the need to understand how we can turn different clays into water-resistant, strong and durable materials with innovative processing techniques, such as geopolymer soil stabilisation
2nd place in the Weird and Wonderful category is a pop-art riff playing on the diversity of shape and appearance in placentas. The images show automatically segmented chorionic vascular trees obtained from high resolution photography
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2nd place in the Weird and Wonderful category is a pop-art riff playing on the diversity of shape and appearance in placentas. The images show automatically segmented chorionic vascular trees obtained from high resolution photography
View gallery - 16 images

The top prize in an annual science photography competition run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK has been taken out by a remarkable image of a single atom. The competition, in its fifth year, received over 100 entries that highlight the breadth and beauty in the worlds of science and engineering.

"The winners we have selected demonstrate how science and technology is affecting people's lives today at many different physical scales," explains Dr Ellie Cosgrave, one of the judges this year. "We have examples from the nanoscale, how our cells are working; how our immune systems might be able to treat different types of diseases; all the way up to technologies that can help us move through cities."

In the center of this image is a small bright dot – a single positively-charged strontium atom
In the center of this image is a small bright dot – a single positively-charged strontium atom

David Nadlinger's winning entry (seen above), entitled "Single Atom in an Ion Trap", captures a single positively-charged strontium atom, presented as a small pale dot hovering between two metal electrodes. The photograph of the atom, illuminated by laser light that it absorbs and then re-emits, was the overall competition winner as well as first place place in the Equipment and Facilities category.

3rd place in the Innovation category is this image showing an amazing assortment of different lattice structures created by selective laser melting, a type of additive manufacturing or 3D printing. These aluminum structures have exceptional strength and stiffness, allowing engineers to significantly reduce the weight of components
3rd place in the Innovation category is this image showing an amazing assortment of different lattice structures created by selective laser melting, a type of additive manufacturing or 3D printing. These aluminum structures have exceptional strength and stiffness, allowing engineers to significantly reduce the weight of components

The other four categories in the competition were Eureka & Discovery, People & Skills, Innovation, and Weird & Wonderful. Three prize winners were selected in each category by a panel of four judges, including Professor Dame Ann Dowling, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and BBC broadcaster Dr Ellie Cosgrave.

Winning photographs include electron microscope imagery of a micron-sized bubble, a robot taking a selfie, pop-art inspired by human placentas, and an extraordinary close-up of a butterfly wing at a nanometer scale.

2nd place in the Innovation category is an image illustrating high throughput screening, a process used to screen hundreds of polymers to investigate their material properties and how these can influence human mesenchymal stem cells’ ability to turn into bone cells
2nd place in the Innovation category is an image illustrating high throughput screening, a process used to screen hundreds of polymers to investigate their material properties and how these can influence human mesenchymal stem cells’ ability to turn into bone cells

Take a look through our gallery featuring all 15 winners in this year's competition.

Source: EPSRC

View gallery - 16 images
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