Daddy longlegs eyes

At first glance, the winning images from the 2010 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition--put on by the camera company's U.S. arm--look like distant worlds or psychedelic moon landscapes. But take a (much) closer look, and you'll see the images are of life science specimens that surround us every day: seeds, insects, plants, animals, and eyes...

Among the year's winners announced this week, first place went to this colorful specimen of the frontal section of a daddy longlegs' eyes.

First place, Dr. Igor Siwanowicz
Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology
Munich, Germany
Specimen: Frontal section of phalangium opilio (Harvestman/daddy longlegs) eyes
Technique: Confocal
Photo by: Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Rat hippocampus

Entries in the science-as-art competition, now in its eighth year, are judged based on their aesthetics and technical merit, as well as the life science they depict. Winners of this year's competition were announced this week.

"Microscope images forge an extraordinary bond between science and art," said Osamu Joji, Olympus America's vice president and general manager for the Scientific Equipment Group. "We founded this competition to focus on the fascinating stories coming out of today's life science research laboratories. The thousands of images that people have shared with the competition over the years reflect some of the most exciting work going on in research today--work that can help shed light on the living universe and ultimately save lives."

2nd place, Thomas Deerinck
University of California at San Diego
Specimen: Rat hippocampus
Technique: Multiphoton
Photo by: Thomas Deerinck, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Solitary coral

In addition to advanced research, some of the winning and honorable mention images reflect people's endless fascination with the little things in life such as mushrooms, fish scales, insects, roots, bandages, and red wine.

Third place, James Nicholson
Coral Culture and Collaborative Research Facility, Fort Johnson Marine Lab
Charleston, S.C.
Specimen: Solitary coral, Fungia sp
Technique: Reflected illumination/epifluorescence without barrier filter
Photo by: James Nicholson, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Licmophora juegensii on red alga

Fourth place, Wolfgang Bettighofer
Kiel, Germany
Specimen: Licmophora juegensii on red alga
Technique: Differential interference contrast
Photo by: Wolfgang Bettighofer, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Flower primordium of Tribulus sp

Fifth place, Dr. M.R. Dadpour
Department of Horticultural Sciences, University of Tabriz
Tabriz, Iran
Specimen: Flower primordium of Tribulus sp
Technique: Epi-illumination, 100 z-stacked images
Photo by: Dr. M.R. Dadpour, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Spirogyra

Sixth place, Dr. Jerzy Gubernator
Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wroclaw Wroclaw, Poland
Specimen: Spirogyra
Technique: Brightfield
Photo by: Dr. Jerzy Gubernator, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Eye of a common blue damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

Seventh place, Dr. Igor Siwanowicz
Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology
Munich, Germany
Specimen: Eye of a common blue damselfly (enallagma cyathigerum)
Technique: Confocal, series projection
Photo by: Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Adhesive pad of the first leg of a beetle (Clytus sp.)

Eighth place, Dr. Jan Michels
Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Institute of Zoology
Kiel, Germany
Specimen: Adhesive pad of the first leg of a beetle (Clytus sp.)
Technique: Autofluorescence
Photo by: Dr. Jan Michels, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Seeds of wild flowers

Ninth place, Yanping Wang
Beijing Planetarium
Beijing, China
Specimen: Seeds of wild flowers
Technique: Brightfield reflected light
Photo by: Ms. Yanping Wang, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Weevil (poss. Curculio nucum or Curculio glandium)

Tenth place, Laurie Knight
Tonbridge, Kent, U.K.
Specimen: Weevil (poss. Curculio nucum or Curculio glandium)
Technique: Episcopic illumination
Photo by: Laurie Knight, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Arabidopsis thaliana seedling

Honorable mention, Fernán Federici
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
Cambridge, U.K.
Specimen: Arabidopsis thaliana seedling
Technique: Confocal
Photo by: Fernan Federici, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Ctenoid scale of a sole

Honorable mention, Ralph Grimm
Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia
Specimen: Ctenoid scale of a sole
Technique: Differential interference contrast
Photo by: Ralph Grimm, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Desmid Micrasterias, starting to divide

Honorable mention, Dr. Antonio Guillén
Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
Specimen: Desmid Micrasterias, starting to divide
Technique: Darkfield and polarized light
Photo by: Dr. Antonio Guillen, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Drosophila (fruitfly) larva

Honorable mention, Dr. Chun Han
University of California
San Francisco
Specimen: Drosophila (fruitfly) larva
Technique: Confocal with image stacks
Photo by: Dr. Chun Han, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Wing scales of Sunset moth (Uranea ripheus)

Honorable mention, Laurie Knight
Tonbridge, Kent, U.K.
Specimen: Wing scales of Sunset moth (Uranea ripheus)
Technique: Episcopic illumination
Photo by: Laurie Knight, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

American Elm seed (Ulmus americana)

Honorable mention, Edwin Lee
Carrollton, Texas
Specimen: American Elm seed (Ulmus americana)
Technique: Stereo microscopy and polarized light
Photo by: Edwin Lee, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Elodea canadensis

Honorable mention, Marek Mis
Suwalki, Poland
Specimen: Elodea canadensis
Technique: Polarized light
Photo by: Marek Mis, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Diatom Didymosphenia geminata

Honorable mention, Dr. Stephen S. Nagy
Helena, Mont.
Specimen: Diatom Didymosphenia geminata
Technique: Interference microscopy
Photo by: Dr. Stephen S. Nagy, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Diatom arachnoidiscus

Honorable mention, Dr. Michael Shribak
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, Mass.
Specimen: Diatom arachnoidiscus
Technique: Polarized light
Photo by: Dr. Michael Shribak, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Pleurosigma diatoms

Honorable mention, Dr. Michael Shribak
Marine Biological Laboratory
Woods Hole, Mass.
Specimen: Pleurosigma diatoms
Technique: Polarized light
Photo by: Dr. Michael Shribak, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Mouse embryonic spinal cord

Honorable mention, Juyong Yoon
Yonsei University
Seoul
Specimen: Mouse embryonic spinal cord
Technique: Confocal
Photo by: Honorable mention, Juyong Yoon, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) stem

Honorable mention, Tong Zhang
McGill University
Montreal
Specimen: Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) stem
Technique: Confocal
Photo by: Tong Zhang, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Filamentous cyanobacterium

Honorable mention, Dr. Petr Znachor
Institute of Hydrobiology
Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Specimen: Potentially toxic filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaenopsis
Technique: Differential interference contrast
Photo by: Dr. Petr Znachor, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

Mouse retina

Honorable mention, Thomas Deerinck
University of California, San Diego
Specimen: Mouse retina
Technique: Confocal
Photo by: Thomas Deerinck, Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition

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