Nikon Small World 2016 Winner

1st place: Four day old zebrafish embryo, at 10x magnification | Dr Oscar Ruiz, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

I spent much of my PhD peering through a microscope into the bizarre world of insect reproductive tracts. That secret, tiny world hidden behind powerful lenses is astonishingly beautiful. My images of sperm storage in stalk-eyed flies will not be winning any photography competitions any time soon, but there are scientists out there who are able to turn their time in the dark room into works of art. 

Every year the Nikon Small World celebrates this world of photomicrography, showcasing the “beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope.” Highly magnified moss leaves become translucent gold films, brain cells sparkle, and zebrafish embryos give serious face. 

Nikon Small World 2016 Douglas L Moore

2nd place: Polished slab of Teepee Canyon agate at 90x magnification | Douglas L. Moore, University of Wisconsin

Nikon Small World 2016 Dylan Burnette

Human HeLa cell undergoing cell division | Dr Dylan Burnette, Vanderbildt University

Nikon Small World 2016 David Maitland

Leaves of Selaginella (lesser club moss) | Dr David Maitland

Nikon Small World 2016 Gist F Croft

Human neural rosette primordial brain cells, differentiated from embryonic stem cells in the culture dish (used to study brain development and Huntington’s disease) | Dr Gist F Croft, Lauren Pietilla, Stephanie Tse, Dr Szilvia Galgoczi, Maria Fenner & Dr Ali H Brivanlou, The Rockefeller University

Nikon Small World 2016 Fracis Sneyers

Scales of a butterfly wing underside (Vanessa atalanta) | Francis Sneyers

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