Sunday, October 11, 2009

Incredible Microphotography

Nikon’s annual Small World Competition began in 1974 to showcase the best microscope-aided photography. The competition attracts a fascinating variety of subjects, photographed using a range of microscopy techniques. Many of the images are scientifically important, but all are aesthetically stunning. Here are some of my favorites:

Above is a translucent zebrafish larva showing the nervous system of the fish (green), the expression of the protein Tau (in red), and Alzheimer-like alterations of Tau (in blue). By bringing Tau into translucent zebrafish larvae, the disease-causing effects of the protein can be studied directly under the microscope.

What seems to be the head of some strange horned creature is actually the back end of a watersnipe fly larva. These weirdly shaped larvae are found in freshwater, and they and other bugs are often good indicators of water quality.

[Link: PopularScience]

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