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2014’s Best Images of the Microscopic World

2014’s Best Images of the Microscopic World

Appreciating the beauty we can’t see.

For the last decade, the Olympus BioScapes Competition has been combining hard science with art. The competition is considered the foremost showcase for the glory of what we can see through light telescopes, and each year judges comb through 2,500 images and movies from researchers from over 70 countries. This year’s winners do not disappoint — from a video of a fly literally being made to what it looks like when a fish thinks. Enjoy.

(All winning videos and images are reproduced with permission below, featuring captions from the winning submissions.)

FIRST PLACE

Multiple views of Drosophila embryonic development. This embryo was recorded in 30-second intervals over a period of 24 hours, starting three hours after egg laying. The video may help reveal cell lineages, cell differentiation and whole-embryo morphogenesis, essential aspects of developmental biology. (William Lemon, Fernando Amat and Philipp Keller, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. First Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

SECOND PLACE

Rat brain cerebellum. Multiphoton photography, 300x. Thomas Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California San Diego, CA, USA. Second Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com

Rat brain cerebellum. Multiphoton photography, 300x. (Thomas Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California San Diego, CA, USA. Second Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

THIRD PLACE

Barnacle appendages that sweep plankton and other food into the barnacle's shell for consumption. Confocal microscopy, 100x. Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. Third Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com

Barnacle appendages that sweep plankton and other food into the barnacle’s shell for consumption. Confocal microscopy, 100x. (Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. Third Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

FOURTH PLACE

Phyllobius roboretanus weevils. Stereo microscopy. Csaba Pintér, Keszthely, Hungary. Fourth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com

Phyllobius roboretanus weevils. Stereo microscopy. (Csaba Pintér, Keszthely, Hungary. Fourth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

FIFTH PLACE

Rat brain cerebral cortex depicting cell nuclei (cyan), astrocytes (GFAP, yellow), and blood vessels (EBA, red). Confocal microscopy. Madelyn May, Hano, NH, USA. Fifth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com

Rat brain cerebral cortex depicting cell nuclei (cyan), astrocytes (GFAP, yellow), and blood vessels (EBA, red). Confocal microscopy. (Madelyn May, Hano, NH, USA. Fifth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

SIXTH PLACE

Magelonid polychaete worm larva from a plankton sample collected in Southampton Water off the south coast of the UK.  Actual specimen size approx 2mm. Confocal microscopy using a 10x objective. David Johnston, Southampton General Hospital Biomedical Imaging Unit, Southampton, UK. Sixth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com

Magelonid polychaete worm larva from a plankton sample. Actual specimen size approx 2mm. Confocal microscopy using a 10x objective. (David Johnston, Southampton General Hospital Biomedical Imaging Unit, Southampton, UK. Sixth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

SEVENTH PLACE

2014  7 Holovachov butter daisy Melampodium divaricatum large

Butter daisy (Melampodium divaricatum) flower at 2x magnification. Fluorescence. (Oleksandr Holovachov, Ekuddsvagen, Sweden. Seventh Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

EIGHTH PLACE

Proboscis (mouthparts) of a vampire moth (Calyptra thalictri). The moth was captured by Jennifer Zaspel in Russia. The proboscis was imaged at 10x and shows the dorsal legulae, tearing hooks, and erectile barbs that facilitate the acquisition of fruit juices and mammalian blood when feeding. Confocal microscopy. Matthew S. Lehnert and Ashley L. Lash, Kent State University at Stark, North Canton, OH, USA. Eighth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com

Proboscis (mouthparts) of a vampire moth (Calyptra thalictri). The proboscis was imaged at 10x and shows the dorsal legulae, tearing hooks, and erectile barbs that facilitate the acquisition of fruit juices and mammalian blood when feeding. Confocal microscopy. (Matthew S. Lehnert and Ashley L. Lash, Kent State University at Stark, North Canton, OH, USA. Eighth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

NINTH PLACE

Green coneheaded planthopper (Acanalonia conica) nymph with its gears. The insects are accomplished jumpers, able to accelerate at staggering 500 times the force of gravity (500xg); to synchronize the movement of their hind legs, their trochanters are coupled with a pair of cogs. Image shows dorsal view of these trochanteral gears. The insect demonstrates that gears, which until recently were thought to be a human invention, exist in the natural world.  Confocal microscopy, magnification ca. 200x. Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA.  Ninth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com

Green coneheaded planthopper (Acanalonia conica) nymph with its gears. The insects synchronize the movement of their hind legs with a pair of cogs. Image shows dorsal view of these trochanteral gears. The insect demonstrates that gears, which until recently were thought to be a human invention, exist in the natural world. Confocal microscopy, magnification ca. 200x. (Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. Ninth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

TENTH PLACE

Neural activity in an entire zebrafish brain in vivo. The video, which shows fast 3D recordings of the entire larval brain (around 100,000 neurons) depicts, for the first time, an almost exhaustive view of single-neuron activity in the brain of a vertebrate. Custom-built simultaneous multi-view light sheet microscopy. (Philipp Keller, Fernando Amat and Misha Ahrens, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. Tenth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com)

IMAGES: All images and videos reproduced with explicit permission from Olympus BioScapes.

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Comments

  1. Doug B says:

    These images were captured using “light telescopes”, huh? Telescopes. Huh.