Small is beautiful: Microscopic photo awards

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TINY embryo bats, an ant with its larva and a human cell are among the winning images in the Nikon Small World competition.

The annual award recognises artistic quality and scientific technique in the field of microscopic ­photography.

Picture: Dr. Jennifer L. Peters & Dr. Michael R. Taylor

Picture: Dr. Jennifer L. Peters & Dr. Michael R. Taylor

First prize went to ­Jennifer Peters and Michael Taylor of St Jude’s ­Hospital, ­Memphis, for a multi-­coloured worm-like image showing the formation of the barrier between brain and blood cells in a live ­embryo of a zebrafish – the first time it has been captured in any live animal on film.

An image of new-born lynx spiderlings by Walter Piorkowski, of Illinois, was awarded second place.

One of the most striking images, taken by Dorjit Hockman of Cambridge ­University, showed a trio of tiny embryo black mastiff bats – seemingly mimicking the famous triptych See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil was in 20th place.

Another image, captured by Esra Cuc, of the ­University of Lausanne, showed the ­formation of lymph cells, while an ant carrying its larva took 9th place. Eric Flem of Nikon said: “Year over year, we receive ­incredible images from all over the world for the Nikon Small World Competition, and it is our privilege to ­honour and showcase these talented researchers and photomicrographers

“We are proud that this competition is able to ­demonstrate the true power of scientific imaging and its relevance to both the ­scientific communities as well as the general public.”