Snapped by photographer Michael Frank in collaboration with
Nick Short of the Royal Veterinary College in London, this image shows the
uterus of a New Forest pony preserved in formalin
and kept in a Perspex container, complete with foetus at about five months into
its 11-month gestational period, currently housed at the college's Lanyon
Anatomy Museum. The membranes and umbilical cord still attach the foetus to the
womb, which has been cut open to display the rich blood supply on the interior.
"As far as standout images go, the image of the horse's
uterus with the foetus still inside was incredible and just sticks in my mind.
It evokes many different emotions at once. It's fascinating, sad, macabre,
almost brutal. Yet the subject is also delicate, detailed and beautiful,"
said Wellcome Image Awards judge James Cutmore, picture editor of BBC Focus
magazine. "The image shows us a large and magnificent creature reduced to
this sad, fragile and half-formed creation, which I find
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favourite Wellcome 2015 Image Award winners, and visit the website for the
Michael Frank, Royal Veterinary College
Goat stomach chamber
Michael Frank's collaboration with London's Royal Veterinary
College saw several formalin-preserved specimens immortalised as stunning
images. This image shows the reticulum -- the first of four chambers in the
alimentary canal that make up the stomach of a ruminant animal -- in this case,
This chamber is also known colloquially as the
"honeycomb" due to the shape of the internal mucosa; this part of the
reticulum may be separated and eaten as tripe, but in its actual
function, it is home to the stomach bacteria that help break down the animal's
Nele Dieckmann and Nicola Lawrence
Active immune defense
A tale of two cells. On the right is a normal cell. On the
left, latched to it, is what is known as a natural killer cell. These are the
soldiers of the immune system, seeking out infected or cancerous cells and
attacking them in order to keep the body healthy. This image, captured by
biochemist Nele Dieckmann and microscopy specialist Nicola Lawrence, has caught
this process in action.
The NK cell has attached itself to the normal
cell and is scanning it for signs of disease, changes in the cell caused by
infection, stress or malignancy -- and preparing to release chemicals -- the
bright red dots -- that will cause the normal cell to self-destruct if it does
turn out to be diseased.
Maurizio De Angelis
Prolific science illustrator Maurizio De Angelis is behind
this compelling illustration of the release of Asteraceae pollen spores -- the
family of flowering plants to which daisies, asters and sunflowers belong. The
microscopic spores are usually released in the spring and are a common allergen. However, they're also an integral
part of the way plants reproduce.
The pollen on a flower's stamen contains the male sperm
cells of the plant, which need to be transferred to the female reproductive
structure -- the pistil -- in order to create a seed. This is primarily
achieved through transport via insects such as bees and butterflies, birds and
They look just like lizards, but the tuatara of New Zealand are
something very special indeed -- the last surviving members of a family of
reptiles that used to live with the dinosaurs. Although they live only in New
Zealand now, 245 million years ago, tuatara populated the world.
The two remaining tuatara species -- named for
their spiny crest, "tuatara" is a Maori word meaning "spiny
back" -- have changed quite a bit from their prehistoric ancestors, which
makes them a valuable study in evolution. This micro-computed tomography image
shows the skull and front limbs of the tuatara, allowing a close study of the tiny
bones within its tendons, usually hard to find in dissection; examining these
and how they have changed will allow researchers to understand how these bones
affect the tuatara's movement.
The art of a fruit fly
This is not a painting; in fact, if we were looking at this
image at 1:1 scale, it would measure just 15 micrometers (0.015 millimetres)
across. It's a digital colour-coded map of the nervous system of a fruit fly.
The neurons that can sense vibrations are coloured yellow, while the blue and
red circles represent information entering and leaving the synapses
respectively. The orange circles represent mitochondria.
The image was created by taking electron miscroscopy images
of very thin slices of the fly's tissue, which were then reconstructed to make
a 3D model.
Tha anatomy model
After decades of service at the Trinity College, Dublin,
this anatomical model on its way to the skip got a last hurrah from artist and
photographer Anthony Edwards.
Awards judge and science broadcaster Adam Rutherford
explained, "The model, the photo and the story are all beautiful. These
models are the next best thing to actual bodies for learning anatomy, and have
a kind of beauty about them. The fact that it was retrieved from a dump at
Trinity makes its story tragic and we felt, like the photographer, that its
service and beauty were worth honouring."
Luis de la Torre-Ubieta
In the mind of a mouse
Confocal micography on a 0.75-millimetre thick slice of mouse
brain here reveals the structures inside. The colour codes, created with
chemicals to make the structures more visible, paint the closest nerve cells as
reds and oranges, with the farthest as blues and greens. This technique is
being used to map the wiring of entire brains.
"The beautiful colours and incredible level
of detail in this image drew us in, inviting us to look more and more closely
at it. The fine lines showing the nerve fibres 'shooting' across this tiny
slice of brain also give it a feeling of movement and complex activity,"
awards judge and head of Wellcome Images Catherine Dracott said.
Rough as a cat's kiss
Cat owners know that sandpapery feeling when a cat decides
you need a bit of a wash. This polarised light micrograph of a three-millimetre
wide cross-section of cat's tongue shows the rough structure that creates that
sandpapery feeling; although not as pleasant on skin, for a cat's fur, the
structures act like a sort of comb, cleaning the fur and "brushing"
it neatly into place.
This picture was taken from a very old slide, prepared in
the Victorian era, using a technique that is well known now, but that was very
new at the time. Black dyes were injected into the capillaries to make them
Parasitoid wasps are some of the most skin-crawly creatures
in the insect kingdom. These wasps lay their eggs inside other insects; when
the eggs hatch, they eat their way out of the still-living host from the inside.
Blurgh. Although it may give you the willies, parasitoid wasps often prey
on agricultural pests -- making them a highly effective natural pesticide.
This light micrograph shows a species recently
discovered in the rainforests of Borneo -- a single female specimen mixed in
with thousands of other insects. It measures just 0.75 millimetres in length;
this photograph shows in detail the wasp's unusual legs, wings and antennae.