The Invisible Beauty of the Microscopic World

More

Up close and personal with blood vessels, cells, and microorganisms

If you associate camera manufacturer Nikon with those silly ads that feature Ashton Kutcher, you may somewhat relieved to know that they also do some good in the world. As well as making some pretty swanky SLRs, the company manufactures scientific microscopes, and it runs an annual competition for photography at a microscopic scale. This year's results are in, and the company has published a selection of the winners on its site -- and they're as spectacular as ever. The photos -- which we spotted at Ars Technica -- are all kinds of amazing, encompassing everything from algae and fossils to a fly's eye and the curiously perverse beauty of a cancer cell.

01_Place_Peters-640x450.jpg
Dr. Jennifer L. Peters and Dr. Michael R. Taylor, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis

Developing blood vessels in the brain.


02_Place_Piorkowski-640x426.jpg
Walter Piorkowski

These are baby Lynx spiders.


03_Place_Burnette-640x593.jpg
Dr. Dylan Burnette, National Institutes of Health

This is a cancer cell, believe it or not -- specifically, it's a cell of a bone tumor called an osteosarcoma.


04_Place_21756_1_Williamson-640x640.jpg
Dr. W Ryan Williamson, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

A dissected fly's eye.


06_Place_20773_1_Mis-640x428.jpg
Marek Mis

A desmid, which is a type of green algae.


09_Place_22047_3_Drange-640x567.jpg
Geir Drange

This is an ant carrying one of its larvae. Ants are amazing.


16_Place_Moore-640x469.jpg
Douglas Moore, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Poin

Ancient snail shells and shrimp, fossilized in agate.


19_Place_Naghiloo-640x512.jpg
Somayeh Naghiloo, Department of Plant Biology, University of Tabriz

This curious-looking unit is the primordium of a garlic flower.


HM_Krebs_22063_3-640x431.jpg
Charles Krebs

... and this is what's swimming in your water.


HM_Wechezak_21507_1-640x404.jpg
Dr Arlene Wechezak

Finally, more algae -- this is a species called Pilota, which you can read about on a site called AlgaeBase.


A version of this post appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Tom Hawking is an editor at Flavorpill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

What makes a story great? The storytellers behind House of CardsThis American LifeThe Moth, and more reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In