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35 Years of the World’s Best Microscope


Photography
• By Betsy Mason
• October 9, 2009 |
• 7:21 pm |
• Categories: Tech

This image of the male sex organ of a flowering plant took first place in Nikon’s annual
Small World photomicrography competition this year.

Chosen for both its scientific and artistic qualities from among a record 2,000 entries, this
image was captured by Estonian scientist Heiti Paves.

“As part of my work as a research scientist, I have been taking photographs through the
microscope for almost 30 years to observe the processes in living cells,” Paves said
Thursday in a press release.

Nikon honored 20 images this year including an anglerfish ovary, cotton fibers and fish
scales.

Winning the popular vote online out of 137 finalists was the image below of a bundle of
fluorescent actin protein filaments captured by Dennis Breitsprecher of the Institute of
Biophysical Chemistry at Germany’s Hannover Medical School.

See the winners of the competition over the last 35 years below and on the following
pages.

Images: Above: Arabidopsis thaliana (thale cress) anther (20x) Confocal / Heiti Paves,
Tallinn University of Technology, courtesy of Nikon Small World.

Below: Fluorescent actin protein filaments. / Dennis Breitsprecher, Institute of


Biophysical Chemistry at Germany’s Hannover Medical School. Courtesy of Nikon Small
World.
Previous winners:
2008: Pleurosigma (marine diatoms) (200x), Darkfield and Polarized Light. / Michael
Stringer, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The
2008 runners up.
2007: Double transgenic mouse embryo, 18.5 days (17x), Brightfield, Darkfield,
Fluorescence (GFP and RFP). / Gloria Kwon, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Insititute.
Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 2007 runners up.
2006: Mouse colon (740x), 2-Photon. / Paul L. Appleton, University of Dundee, UK.
Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 2006 runners up.
2005: Muscoid fly (house fly) (6.25x), Reflected light. / Charles B. Krebs, Charles Krebs
Photography, Issaquah, Washington, USA. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 2005
runners up.
2004: Quantum dot nanocrystals deposited on a silicon substrate (200x), Polarized
reflected light. / Seth A. Coe-Sullivan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Courtesy of
Nikon Small World. The 2004 runners up.
2003: Filamentous actin and microtubules (structural proteins) in mouse fibroblasts
(cells) (1000x), Fluorescence. / Torsten Wittmann, The Scripps Research Institute.
Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 2003 runners up.
2002: Sagittal section of rat cerebellum (40x), Fluorescence and Confocal. / Thomas J.
Deerinck, National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of
California, San Diego. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 2002 runners up.
2001: Fresh water rotifer feeding among debris (200x), Darkfield. / Harold
TaylorKensworth, UK. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 2001 runners up.

2000: Avicennia marina (mangrove) leaf (40x), Fluorescence and Differential


Interference Contrast. / Daphne Zbaeren-Colbourn, Bern, Switzerland. Courtesy of
Nikon Small World. The 2000 runners up.
1999: Newt lung cell in mitosis (5 different structures) (240x), Fluorescence. / Alexey
Khodjakov, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health. Courtesy of
Nikon Small World. The 1999 runners up.
1998: Endothelial cells (100x), Fluorescence, Double Exposure. / Jakob Zbaeren,
Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1998 runners up.
1997: Mouse fibroblasts (160x), Fluorescence. / Barbara A. Danowski, Union College.
Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1997 runners up.
1996: Doxorubin in methanol and dimethylbenzenesulfonic acid (80x), Polarized Light. /
Lars BechNaarden, The Netherlands. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1996 runners
up.
1995: Larva of Pleuronectidae (20x), Rheinberg Illumination and Polarized Light. /
Christian Gautier, JACANA Press Agency, France. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The
1995 runners up.
1994: Cross-section of very young beech (40x), Brightfield. / Jean Rüegger-Deschenaux,
Mikroskopische Gesellschaft, Zurich, Switzerland. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The
1994 runners up.
1993: Fossil Fusulinids in limestone (8x), Polarized Light. / Ron Sturm, Construction
Technology Laboratories, Inc., Illinois, USA. COurtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1993
runners up.
1992: 10-year old preparation of barbital, fenacetine, valium and acetic acid (35x),
Polarized Light. / Lars BechDeurne, The Netherlands. Courtesy of Nikon Small World.
The 1992 runners up.

1991: Polyurethane elastic fiber bundle (25x), Polarized Light. / Marc Van Hove,
Centexbel, Belgium. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1991 runners up.
1990: Crystals evaporated from solution of magnesium sulfate and tartaric acid (50x),
Polarized Light. / Richard H. Lee, Argonne National Laboratory. Courtesy of Nikon
Small World. The 1990 runners up.
1989: Multiple exposure of a knitting machine needle (10x), Brightfield. / Marc Van
Hove, Centexbel, Belgium. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1989 runners up.
1988: Gold residue and gold-coated bubbles in glassy matrix (20x), Brightfield. / David
Smith, Queensland, Australia. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1988 runners up.
1987: Crystals of influenza virus neuraminidase isolated from terns (14x), Brightfield
with Colored Filters. / Julie Macklin and Dr. Graeme Laver, Australian National
University. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1987 runners up.
1986: Live water mount of Hydra viridissima capturing Daphnia pulex (10x), Darkfield. /
Steven F. Lowry, University of Ulster at Coleraine, North Ireland. Courtesy of Nikon
Small World. The 1986 runners up.
1985: Formalin-fixed whole mount of a spiral nematode, multiple exposure (160x),
Darkfield. / Jon D. Eisenback, North Carolina State University. Courtesy of Nikon Small
World. The 1985 runners up.
1984: Inclusions of goethite and hematite in Brazilian agate (30x), Transmitted light with
reflected fiber-optic illumination. / John I. Kolvula, Gemological Institute of America.
Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1984 runners up.
1983: Suctorian attached to stalk of red algae, encircled by ring of diatoms (125x),
Darkfield. / Elieen Roux, Bob Hope International Heart Research Institute. Courtesy of
Nikon Small World. The 1983 runners up.

1982: Silverberry scaly hair whole mount (400x), Brightfield. / Jon D. Eisenback, North
Carolina State University. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1982 runners up.
1981: Collapsed bubbles from an annealed experimental electronic sealing glass (55x),
Reflected Light, Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast. / David Gnizak, Ferro
Corp., Independence, Ohio. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1981 runners up.
1980: Larvacean within its feeding structure dyed with red organic carmine which the
larvacean syphoned in while filter feeding (20x), Underwater camera with multiple
extension tubes. / James M. King, Marine Science Institute, University of California,
Santa Barbara. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1980 runners up.
1979: Stalked protozoan attached to a filamentous green algae with bacteria on its
surface (160x), Nomarski Differential Interference Contrast. / Paul W. Johnson,
University of Rhode Island. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1979 runners up.

1978: Gold, vaporized in a tungsten boat, in a vacuum evaporator (55x), Vertical


Illumination - Normarski Differential Interference. / David Gnizak, Independence, Ohio.
Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1978 runners up.
1977: Crystals of rutile (titanium dioxide) and tridymite (a polymorph of quartz) in a
cobalt-rich glass (350x), Combined oblique illumination and reflected light. / James W.
Smith, Independence, Ohio. Courtesy of Nikon Small World. The 1977 runners up.

See Also:

• Amazing Microscope Images From Science as Art Competition


• Behind the Scenes at Harvard’s Museum of Natural History
• Asteroid Impact Craters on Earth as Seen From Space
• Weird, Rare Clouds and the Physics Behind Them

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Tags: microscope, photo gallery, photomicrography