As a convergence of art and science in the natural world, few things can summon a sense of wonderment like Nikon's Small World photomicrography competition.
In one way, these images are technical documents--visual accounts of research from the hard sciences.
Take another look, though, and it's not hard to see these images standing alone as works of art. Though backed by scientific concepts, the beautiful colors and shapes are written in the world around us.
These are the plants and animals, rocks and minerals that make up our world.
All it takes is a (very) close look to appreciate the significance of science.
In this slide show, we take a look at the top 25 images from Nikon's 2010 International Small World Competition.
Jonas King, from the Vanderbilt University Department of Biological Sciences, submitted this image of an Anopheles gambiae (mosquito) heart magnified 100 times.
Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Jonas King
Hideo Otsuna, a student at the University of Utah Medical Center, photographed this 5-day-old zebrafish head, magnified 20 times.
A live mushroom coral (Orange Fungia), magnified 166 times, is the subject of this image by James Nicholson from the NOAA NOS NCCOS Coral Culture and Collaborative Research Facility in Charleston, S.C.
Lichen, divaricatic acid from Evernia divaricata was recrystallized from acetone and enlarged 10 times; then photographed by Ralf Wagner in Düsseldorf, Germany, creating these vibrant, colorful squares.
Robert Markus shot this stigma of the Mirabilis jalapa, known as the four o'clock flower, covered with pollen. The image, magnified 100 times, was taken at the Institute of Genetics
Biological Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Szeged, Hungary.
Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Robert Markus
Ichneumon wasp compound eye and antenna base
An Ichneumon wasp compound eye and antenna base, seen at a magnification of more than 40 times, was shot by photographer Charles Krebs.