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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

11 views of the microscopic world in brilliant detail

Here at Popular Science, we love miniaturism—a lot that we devoted an entire journal concern to it (see Fall 2018, “Tiny”). Which is why we stay for pictures that present the wonders of the world not-at-scale.

Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition is the excellent alternative for that. The awards uniquely function photos taken by mild microscopes, from a spread of scientific fields, together with most cancers analysis, plant evolution, and crystallography. The specimens themselves are sometimes stained, fluoresced, and handled with different strategies to tease out their visible options. Which leaves us with an eyeful of sharp contrasts and tiny particulars that we in any other case could be oblivious to with our zoomed-out human vantages.

The general winner of this yr’s contest (above) was composed of 200 separate pictures, taken with a customized microscope made by optical imaging professional Jason Kirk. The approach was utilized by many of the different finalists, however with various topics, mild sources, and coloration edits. The ensuing lineup is various and beautiful, and we’re excited to share some of the most memorable selects.

If you’re in the temper for somewhat movement, try Nikon’s Small World video winners, which had been additionally shot by mild microscopes.

Rat sensory neuron stained in fluorescent colors
4th place. The sensory neuron of a rat, captured by a 10x goal lens. Photo: Paula Diaz, MinusPain, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
House fly mouth parts
fifth place. A home fly proboscis (i.e., a tubular mouth appendage used for sucking up meals), captured by a 40x goal lens. Photo: Oliver Dum, Medienbunker Produktion/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
A ball of cyanobacterial strands in a blue gel
seventeenth place. Filamentous cyanobacterial strands in a gel matrix, captured by a 4x goal lens. Photo: Martin Kaae Kristiansen, My Microscopic World/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
Calcite crystal
nineteenth place. A calcite crystal suspended in a spinal gemstone, captured by a 40x goal lens. Photo: Billy Hughes, Lotus Gemology/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
Butterfly wing scales
tenth place. The scales on the wing of a Morpho didius butterfly, captured by 20x goal lens. Photo: Sébastien Malo/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
Breast organoid with red and blue sections
twelfth place. A breast organoid with myoepithelial cells (blue) and secretory cells (crimson), captured by a 40x goal lens. Photo: Jakub Sumbal, Masaryk University/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
Neurons connected by axons
2nd place. A microfluidic system with 300,000 networking neurons bridged by axons, captured by a 40x goal lens. Photo: Esmeralda Paric & Holly Stefen, Dementia Research Centre, Macquarie University/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
Blood vessels in a mouse retina
eleventh place. The blood vessels in a mouse retina, captured by a 20x goal lens. Photo: Jason Kirk & Carlos P. Flores Suarez, Baylor College of Medicine/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
Table salt crystal
18th place. A grain of desk salt, captured by a 10x goal lens. Photo: Saulius Gugis/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition
Tick head stained in rainbow colors
seventh place. The head of a tick, captured by a 10x goal lens. Photo: Tong Zhang & Paul Stoodley, Ohio State University/Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition

#Note-Author Name – PopSci Staff

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