Beautiful Image of Turtle Embryo Wins Nikon Small World Photo Contest


Nikon has revealed the winners of the 45th annual Nikon Small World photomicrography competition. The contest features images that “showcase a spectacular blend of science and artistry under the microscope,” and as usual, this year’s winning images are just plain spectacular.

This year’s overall winner is a gorgeous, fluorescent photograph of a turtle embryo by microscopy technician Teresa Zgoda and recent university graduate Teresa Kugler from Massachusetts and New York, respectively. The image was captured using fluorescence and stereo microscopy, and produced by stacking and stitching together hundreds of photographs to produce a final image that Nikon rightfully dubbed “a masterful example of image stitching.”

Photo by Teresa Zgoda & Teresa Kugler | Nikon Small World

“Microscopy lets us zoom in on the smallest organisms and building blocks that comprise our world – giving us a profound appreciation for the small things in life that far too often go unnoticed,” Kugler told Nikon, “It allows me to do science with a purpose.”

“We are inspired by the beautiful images we see through the microscope,” added Zgoda, “It’s humbling and deeply fulfilling to be able to share that science with other people.”

Of course, Zgoda and Kugler’s photograph isn’t the only incredible image recognized by the contest this year. A “Top 20” were selected, and you can see all of them—including a brief caption that explains what you’re seeing and how it was captured—below.

2nd Place – Dr. Igor Siwanowicz

Dr. Igor Siwanowicz
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Janelia Research Campus
Ashburn, Virginia, USA
Depth-color coded projections of three stentors (single-cell freshwater protozoans)
Confocal
40x (Objective Lens Magnification)

3rd Place – Daniel Smith Paredes & Dr. Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar

Daniel Smith Paredes & Dr. Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar
Yale University
Department of Geology and Geophysics
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Alligator embryo developing nerves and skeleton
Immunofluorescence
10x (Objective Lens Magnification)

4th Place – Jan Rosenboom

Jan Rosenboom
Universität Rostock
Rostock, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Germany
Male mosquito
Focus Stacking
6.3x (Objective Lens Magnification)

5th Place – Caleb Foster

Caleb Foster
Caleb Foster Photography
Jericho, Vermont, USA
Snowflake
Transmitted Light
4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

6th Place – Javier Rupérez

Javier Rupérez
Almáchar, Málaga, Spain
Small white hair spider
Reflected Light, Image Stacking
20x (Objective Lens Magnification)

7th Place – Dr. Guillermo López

Dr. Guillermo López
Alicante, Spain
Chinese red carnation stamen
Focus Stacking
3x (Objective Lens Magnification)

8th Place – Garzon Christian

Garzon Christian
Quintin, Cotes-d’Armor, France
Frozen water droplet
Incident Light
8x (Objective Lens Magnification)

9th Place – Andrei Savitsky

Andrei Savitsky
Cherkassy, Ukraine
Tulip bud cross section
Reflected Light
1x (Objective Lens Magnification)

10th Place – Jason M. Kirk

Jason M. Kirk
Baylor College of Medicine
Optical Imaging & Vital Microscopy Core
Houston, Texas, USA
BPAE cells in telophase stage of mitosis
Confocal with Enhanced Resolution
63x (Objective Lens Magnification)

11th Place – Dr. Yujun Chen & Dr. Jocelyn McDonald

Dr. Yujun Chen & Dr. Jocelyn McDonald
Kansas State University
Department of Biology
Manhattan, Kansas, USA
A pair of ovaries from an adult Drosophila female stained for F-actin (yellow) and nuclei (green); follicle cells are marked by GFP (magenta)
Confocal
10x (Objective Lens Magnification)

12th Place – Anne Algar

Anne Algar
Hounslow, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Mosquito larva
Darkfield, Polarizing Light, Image Stacking
4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

13th Place – Dr. Emilio Carabajal Márquez

Dr. Emilio Carabajal Márquez
Madrid, Spain
Cuprite (mineral composed of copper oxide)
Focus Stacking
20x (Objective Lens Magnification)

14th Place – Antoine Franck

Antoine Franck
CIRAD – Agricultural Research for Development
Saint Pierre, Réunion
Female Oxyopes dumonti (lynx) spider
Focus Stacking
1x (Objective Lens Magnification)

15th Place – Marek Miś

Marek Miś
Marek Miś Photography
Suwalki, Podlaskie, Poland
Pregnant Daphnia magna (small planktonic crustacean)
Modified Darkfield, Polarized Light, Image Stacking
4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

16th Place – Dr. Razvan Cornel Constantin

Dr. Razvan Cornel Constantin
Bucharest, Romania
Housefly compound eye pattern
Focus Stacking, Reflected Light
50x (Objective Lens Magnification)

17th Place – Karl Deckart

Karl Deckart
Eckental, Bavaria, Germany
Vitamin C
Brightfield, Polarized Light
4x (Objective Lens Magnification)

18th Place – E. Billie Hughes

E. Billie Hughes
Lotus Gemology
Bangkok, Thailand
Cristobalite crystal suspended in its quartz mineral host
Darkfield
40x (Objective Lens Magnification)

19th Place – Martyna Lukoseviciute & Dr. Carrie Albertin

Martyna Lukoseviciute & Dr. Carrie Albertin
University of Oxford
Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Octopus bimaculoides embryo
Confocal, Image Stitching
5x (Objective Lens Magnification)

20th Place – Simon Merz, Lea Bornemann & Sebastian Korste

Simon Merz, Lea Bornemann & Sebastian Korste
University Hospital Essen
Institute for Experimental Immunology & Imaging
Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Blood vessels of a murine (mouse) heart following myocardial infarction (heart attack)
Tissue Clearing, Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy
2x (Objective Lens Magnification)

To see more of the incredible images that were honored by the Nikon Small World competition this year, or to learn more about this contest that sits at the intersection of art and science, head over to the Nikon Small World website.


Image credits: All images credited individually, shared courtesy of Nikon.



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