The winners of the 43rd annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition were recently announced. The competition celebrates the amazing world in images of those things that can only be seen under light microscope.
In 2017, over 2,000 entries were received from 88 countries. Dr. Bram van den Broek of The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) took out first place for his photo of a skin cell expressing an excessive amount of keratin. “There are more than 50 different keratin proteins known in humans. The expression patterns of keratin are often abnormal in skin tumor cells, and it is thus widely used as tumor marker in cancer diagnostics,” said Dr van den Broek.
Second place went to Dr Havi Sarfaty of Yahud-Monoson, Israel, for the flowering head of a plant (Senecio vulgaris). The image in third place, by Jean-Marc Bablian of Nantes, France, looks like it something out of PacMan, but is actually a living volvox algae releasing its daughter colonies.
Some of the other incredible images honoured in the competition include mold growing on a tomato, the eye of a daddy longlegs and the colorful fractured plastic of a credit card. “What I most enjoy about this competition is that a larger audience can appreciate the beautiful complexity and diversity of the world unseen by the naked eye,” said van den Broek.
An image by the very talented Levon Biss of Exaerete frontalis (orchid cuckoo bee) from the collections of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History placed in 13th position.