Well my dear friends, it is that time of the year. I am not talking about that annoying Christmas time where the only good thing is not having to work. No. I am refering to the Small World 2012 Microphotography Contest, the annual Nikon scientific photography contest, that just like every other year brings us high quality images of indescribable beauty.

Let’s go take a look…

A. Kelsey Lewis, Yong Wan & Gabrielle Kardon Distinguished Mention

This first take shows a mouse limb where different cell types have been labeled with several fluorescent proteins to produce this multicolored image. The microscope they used, obviously, was a fluorescence microscope. A confocal microscope to be more exact.

Now, what do we have here? These cute little animals that look shy and don’t want to look straight into the “camera” so to say, are bat (Molossus rufus) embryos imaged at different stages of embryonic development. Cool, right?

Dorit Hockman. 20th position and 2nd public most voted

They might look like mushrooms but neither they are animals nor plants. These are minerals, cacoxenite pieces extracted from a spanish mine and pictured by the only spanish among the top ten winners of 2012.

Honorio Cócera-La Parra. 5th Position

And last, my favorite. Although there are many and all wonderful. It is not a heart,c’mon use your eyes…for it is an eye. A fly (Drosophila melanogaster) eye. Only before it becomes a fly, that is, an eye in a fly larvae. Here we can also observe rainbow-like cells as in the image with the mouse limb because, again different cell types were tagged fluorescently either by antibodies (in vitro) or by the generation of transgenic fluorescent proteins (in vivo)

Dr. Michael John Bridge. 7th Position

This is nothing but a tiny sample of the more than 100 images selected by the jury of this year’s edition, so if you want to discover more about the microscale world (10-6 metros) I recommend you go take a look at Nikon. The impact will be MACRO! 😉