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.
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.”