Photography

Miniature magnificence in the 2020 Nikon Small World photo awards

Miniature magnificence in the ...
Image of Distinction. 20 million year old winged ant trapped in amber resin
Image of Distinction. 20 million year old winged ant trapped in amber resin
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1st Place. Dorsal view of bones and scales (blue) and lymphatic vessels (orange) in a juvenile zebrafish
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1st Place. Dorsal view of bones and scales (blue) and lymphatic vessels (orange) in a juvenile zebrafish
2nd Place. Embryonic development of a clownfish (Amphiprion percula) on days 1, 3 (morning and evening), 5, and 9
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2nd Place. Embryonic development of a clownfish (Amphiprion percula) on days 1, 3 (morning and evening), 5, and 9
3rd Place. Tongue (radula) of a freshwater snail
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3rd Place. Tongue (radula) of a freshwater snail
4th Place. Multi-nucleate spores and hyphae of a soil fungus (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus)
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4th Place. Multi-nucleate spores and hyphae of a soil fungus (arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus)
5th Place. Bogong Moth
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5th Place. Bogong Moth
7th Place. Microtubules (orange) inside a cell. Nucleus is shown in cyan
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7th Place. Microtubules (orange) inside a cell. Nucleus is shown in cyan
9th Place. Connections between hippocampal neurons (brain cells)
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9th Place. Connections between hippocampal neurons (brain cells)
12th Place. Human hair
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12th Place. Human hair
14th Place. Leaf roller weevil (Byctiscus betulae) lateral view
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14th Place. Leaf roller weevil (Byctiscus betulae) lateral view
16th Place. Nylon stockings
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16th Place. Nylon stockings
20th Place. Skeleton preparation of a short-tailed fruit bat embryo (Carollia perspicillata)
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20th Place. Skeleton preparation of a short-tailed fruit bat embryo (Carollia perspicillata)
Honorable Mention. Phantom midge larva
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Honorable Mention. Phantom midge larva
Honorable Mention. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens)
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Honorable Mention. Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens)
Honorable Mention. Liquid crystals in a mobile LCD screen
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Honorable Mention. Liquid crystals in a mobile LCD screen
Honorable Mention. Flower crab spider (Thomisus)
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Honorable Mention. Flower crab spider (Thomisus)
Honorable Mention. Ship-timber beetle (Lymexylidae)
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Honorable Mention. Ship-timber beetle (Lymexylidae)
Image of Distinction. Whirligig beetle head (Gyrinus sp.)
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Image of Distinction. Whirligig beetle head (Gyrinus sp.)
Image of Distinction. Slime mold
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Image of Distinction. Slime mold
Image of Distinction. Single neuron in a field of non-differentiated mouse neural stem cells
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Image of Distinction. Single neuron in a field of non-differentiated mouse neural stem cells
Image of Distinction. 20 million year old winged ant trapped in amber resin
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Image of Distinction. 20 million year old winged ant trapped in amber resin
Image of Distinction. Old Vinyl Record
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Image of Distinction. Old Vinyl Record
Image of Distinction. Male Hawthorn Fly (Bibio marci)
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Image of Distinction. Male Hawthorn Fly (Bibio marci)
Image of Distinction. Head of a tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis)
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Image of Distinction. Head of a tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis)
Image of Distinction. Horse-fly (Tabanidae)
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Image of Distinction. Horse-fly (Tabanidae)
View gallery - 24 images

Running for almost half a century, the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is arguably the world’s premiere microscopic photography contest. This year’s incredible array of winners highlight the contest’s unique balance between art and science offering everything from a surreal close-up of the grooves in an old vinyl record to a stunning image of hippocampal neurons firing.

“For 46 years, the goal of the Nikon Small World competition has been to share microscopic imagery that visually blends art and science for the general public,” says Nikon’s communications manager, Eric Flem. “As imaging techniques and technologies become more advanced, we are proud to showcase imagery that this blend of research, creativity, imaging technology and expertise can bring to scientific discovery. This year’s first place winner is a stunning example.”

1st Place. Dorsal view of bones and scales (blue) and lymphatic vessels (orange) in a juvenile zebrafish
1st Place. Dorsal view of bones and scales (blue) and lymphatic vessels (orange) in a juvenile zebrafish

This year’s top prize went to a groundbreaking image of a juvenile zebrafish. Captured by a National Institutes of Health team led by Daniel Castranova, the image was part of a research project that revealed for the first time a lymphatic system in zebrafish.

“The image is beautiful, but also shows how powerful the zebrafish can be as a model for the development of lymphatic vessels,” says Castranova. “Until now, we thought this type of lymphatic system only occurred in mammals. By studying them now, the scientific community can expedite a range of research and clinical innovations – everything from drug trials to cancer treatments.”

16th Place. Nylon stockings
16th Place. Nylon stockings

Second place went to German researchers Daniel Knop for a sublime image showing five distinct stages in a clownfish’s embryonic development. Igor Siwanowicz, from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, took third place with an incredible close look at the tongue of a freshwater snail.

Image of Distinction. Horse-fly (Tabanidae)
Image of Distinction. Horse-fly (Tabanidae)

Other highlights offered microscopic perspectives on common objects such as the molecular links in nylon stockings, liquid crystals in an LCD screen, and a perfect knot in a single human hair.

Take a look through the gallery at more highlights from this year’s spectacular selection, plus you can take a trip back through previous year’s winners here.

Source: Nikon Small World

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