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Photos: Microscopic images reveal small wonders

The top 20 winning images in Nikon's annual Small World photomicrography contest.

1 of 20 Havi Sarfaty

20th place--Coin

Now in its 35th year, the Nikon Small World competition recognizes the art of photomicrography, with specimens spanning biological, industrial, and geological sciences.

Judges assess images for both scientific and artistic qualities, with the leading images displaying strengths in both areas. The images' impact, technical proficiency, originality, and informational contribution to the scientific community are all criteria used to evaluate the entries.

This 20th place winner is a 40x image of a rusted old coin. It was captured by Havi Sarfaty of the Tallinn Israel Veterinary Association in Ramat-Gan, Israel.

2 of 20 Yanping Wang

19th place--Snowflake

19th place
Yanping Wang
Beijing Planetarium
Beijing, China
Snowflake (40x)
Reflected and Transmitted Light

3 of 20 Julia Sero

18th place--Human skin

18th place
Julia Sero
Children's Hospital Boston
Harvard Medical School
Boston, Mass.
Human skin on fibronectin with growth factor (60x)

4 of 20 Rebekah R. Helton

17th place--Stopwatch

17th place
Rebekah R. Helton
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Delaware
Newark, Del.
Stopwatch (2.5x)
Confocal (with Depth Coding)

5 of 20 Massimo Brizzi

16th place--Snail eggs

16th place
Massimo Brizzi
Microcosmo Italia
Empoli, Firenze, Italy
Snail eggs (200x)
Differential Interference Contrast

6 of 20 Fabrice Parais

15th place--Fly larva

15th place
Fabrice Parais
DIREN Basse-Normandie
Herouville-Saint-Clair, France
Atherix ibis (fly) aquatic larva (25x)

7 of 20 Tora Bardal

14th place--Lobster egg

14th place
Tora Bardal
Department of Biology
NTNU Center of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Trondheim, Norway
Lobster egg (3.2x)

8 of 20 John Hart

13th place

13th place
John Hart
Hart3D Films
Boulder, Colo.
Recrystallized melted mixture of acetanalide, resorcinal, and carbon tetrabromide (33x)
Transmitted Polarized Light

9 of 20 Tsutomu Seimiya

12th place--Soap film

12th place
Tsutomu Seimiya
Tokyo Metropolitan University
Tokyo, Japan
Flow pattern in draining soap film (10x)
Simple Microscope

10 of 20 Dominik Paquet

11th place--Zebrafish

11th place
Dominik Paquet
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Adolf Butenandt Institute
Munich, Germany
"Alzheimer" Zebrafish, stained for Tau (red), neurons (green), and pathologic Tau (blue) (10x)

11 of 20 Arlene Wechezak

10th place--Algae

10th place
Arlene Wechezak
Anacortes, Wash.
Algae and diatoms (10x)

12 of 20 Bernardo Cesare

9th place--Magmatic rock

9th place
Bernardo Cesare
Dipartimento di Geoscienze
Università degli Studi di Padova
Padova, Italy
Olivine inclusions in gabbro (magmatic rock) (5x)
Polarized Transmitted Light

13 of 20 Lloyd Donaldson

8th place--Cotton

8th place
Lloyd Donaldson
Scion, Next Generation Biomaterials
Rotorua, New Zealand
Cotton fibers stained with berberine sulphate and color depth shaded (200x)
Confocal Fluorescence

14 of 20 Shirley Owens

7th place--Plant trichomes

7th place
Shirley Owens
Michigan State University (retired)
East Lansing, Mich.
Hair-like trichomes on Thunbergia alata (Black-eyed Susan vine) (450x)
Confocal Fluorescence and Reflection

15 of 20 Havi Sarfaty

6th place--Fish scales

6th place
Havi Sarfaty
Israel Veterinary Association
Ramat-Gan, Israel
Discus fish scales (20x)
Transmitted Light

16 of 20 Bruno Vellutini

5th place--Seastar

5th place
Bruno Vellutini
Centro de Biologia Marinha Universidade de Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Oral surface of a young seastar (40x)

17 of 20 James Hayden

4th place--Anglerfish ovary

4th place
James Hayden
The Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, Penn.
Anglerfish ovary (4x)
Two-channel Autofluorescence

18 of 20 Pedro Barrios-Perez

3rd place--Wrinkled photoresist

3rd place
Pedro Barrios-Perez
Institute for Microstructural Sciences National Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Wrinkled photoresist (200x)

19 of 20 Gerd A. Guenther

2nd place--Spiny sowthistle

2nd place
Gerd A. Guenther
Düsseldorf, Germany
Sonchus asper (spiny sowthistle) flower stem section (150x)

20 of 20 Heiti Paves

1st place winner--Thale cress anther

1st place
Heiti Paves
Tallinn University of Technology
Tallinn, Estonia
Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) anther (20x)

Interested in seeing how your own microscopic photos stack up? Submissions for next year's competition are due April 30, 2010.

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