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.