Smaller is better, as the winning pictures of really, really, really small things over at Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition shown over the years. But you know what's even better? Video clips of really small things.
Nikon has just announced the winners of the 2012 Small World in Motion Competition. The First Place winner is Olena Kamenyeva of the National Institute of Health with the clip titled "Sensing Danger," which shows the immune response in the lymph node of the mouse. What you're seeing is neutrophil granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, that are recruited to the site of laser-induced injury. (Neat note: neutrophils are the predominant cells in pus accounting for its whitish yellow color, so the next time you injure yourself and get pus, you know).
Taking second place is Stefan Lüpold of Syracuse University. His video clip, titled "Sperm from two males competing within reproductive tract of a female fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)," is just like what it said on the tin. Some scientists just have ways with words.
Nils Lindstrom of University of Edinburgh took third place with "Growing Complexity in the Kidney." It shows how the structures of the mouse kidney (in this case, the ureteric bud and the nephrons) grow over four days.
There are 10 Honorable Mentions, whose video clips you can view below:
"Ciliates feeding on a bacterial biofilm" by Andrew Dopheide of University of Auckland
"Flowing liquid crystal" by Oleg Lavrentovich of Kent State University
"Action of the heart" by Michael Weber of Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
"Arabidopsis endosomes" by Daniel von Wangenheim of Goethe University Frankfurt
"The rotifer Limnias melicerta" by Wim van Egmond of Micropolitan Museum
"The making of the brain" by Fengzhu Xiong of Harvard Medical School
"Onion bulb scale epidermis" by Heiti Paves of Tallinn University of Technology
"CARfish fibroblast" by Maria Nemethova of Institute of Molecular Biotechnology GmbH
"Microtubule asters recapitulated in a model cytoplasm" by Phuong Anh Nguyen of Harvard Medical School
"Broodstock Bay Scallop Argopected irradians opening up to take a look around and feed" by Kathryn Markey of Roger Williams University