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Every year, Nikon's Small World competition puts a call out to photomicrographers, asking for their best ultra-magnified images. The following photos were all captured using microscopes. The subjects are incredibly small, the capture process is extremely complex and the results are nothing short of incredible. These 20 are the best, as picked by a panel of expert judges. Nikon has left the public vote portion of the contest open, so you can still go and check out some of the other entries. CLICK HERE FOR A GALLERY OF LAST YEAR'S WINNERS 1st Place Photo: Dr. Igor Siwanowicz Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology Martinsried, Germany Portrait of a Chrysopa sp. (green lacewing) larva (20x) Confocal.
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2nd Place
Photo: Dr. Donna Stolz
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Blade of Grass (200X)
Confocal stack reconstruction, Autofluorescence
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3rd Place
Photo: Frank Fox
Fachhochschule Trier
Trier, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Melosira moniliformis, living specimen (320X)
Differential Interference Contrast
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4th Place
Photo: Dr. Robin Young
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Intrinsic fluorescence in Lepidozia reptans (liverwort) (20X)
Live mount, Confocal microscopy
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5th Place
Photo: Alfred Pasieka
Microchip surface, 3D reconstruction (500X)
Incident light, Normarski Interference Contrast
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6th Place
Photo: Dennis Callahan
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California, USA
Cracked gallium arsenide solar cell films (50X)
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7th Place
Photo: Gabriel Luna
UC Santa Barbara, Neuroscience Research Institute
Santa Barbara, California, USA
Retinal flatmount of mouse nerve fiber layer (40X)
Laser Confocal Scanning
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8th Place
Photo: Dr. Bernardo Cesare
Department of Geosciences
Padova, Italy
Graphite-bearing granulite from Kerala (India) (2.5X)
Polarized light
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9th Place
Photo: Dr. Jan Michels
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Kiel, Germany
Temora longicornis (marine copepod), ventral view (10X)
Confocal, Autofluorescence and Congo Red Fluorescence
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10th Place
Photo: Joan Röhl
Institute for Biochemistry and Biology
Potsdam, Germany
Daphnia magna (freshwater water flea) (100X)
Differential Interference Contrast
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11th Place
Photo: Dr. Jan Michels
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Kiel, Germany
Ant head, frontal view (10X)
Confocal, autofluorescence
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12th Place
Photo: Thomas Deerinck
National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research
La Jolla, California, USA
HeLa (cancer) cells (300X)
2-Photon fluorescence
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13th Place
Photo: Dr. Stephen S. Nagy
Montana Diatoms
Helena, Montana, USA
Curare vine in cross-section, Chondrodendron tomentosum (45X)
Brightfield, digitally inverted
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14th Place
Photo: Yanping Wang
Beijing Planetarium
Beijing, China
Sand (4X)
Reflected light
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15th Place
Photo: James H. Nicholson
Coral Culture and Collaborative Research Facility, NOAA/NOS/NCCOS/CCEHBR & HML
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Porites lobata (lobe coral), live specimen displaying tissue pigmentation response with red fluorescence (12X)
Epifluorescence with triple band (U/B/G) excitation
16th Place
Photo: Dr. Christopher Guérin
VIB (Flanders Institute of Biotechnology)
Ghent, Belgium
Cultured cells growing on a bio-polymer scaffold (63X)
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17th Place
Photo: Dr. Witold Kilarski
EPFL-Laboratory of Lymphatic and Cancer Bioengineering
Lausanne, Switzerland
Litomosoides sigmodontis (filaria worms) inside lymphatic vessels of the mouse ear (150X)
Fluorescent confocal microscopy
18th Place
Photo: Benjamin Blonder, David Elliott
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Venation network of young Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) leaf (4X)
Brightfield image of safranin-stained tissue
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19th Place
Photo: Dr. Donna Stolz
The University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Mammalian cell collage stained for various proteins and organelles, assembled into a wreath (200-2000X)
Single slice confocal cell mosaic
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20th Place
Photo: Douglas Moore
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA
Agatized dinosaur bone cells, unpolished, ca. 150 million years old (42X)
Stereomicroscopy, fiber optics