If you love the Nikon Small World Photomicrography competitions (featured many times previously on Neatorama), where scientists around the world submit their best and most intriguing micrographs, then you'll love this!
The Nikon Small World in Motion Photomicrography 2014 is open for submission, and while we wait for this year's batch of super awesome entries, let's feast our eyes on the winners of the 2013 competition, which have just been announced:
Subject matter: Quail embroy at 10 day incubation (3D reconstruction) 1x
Technique: Optical tomography, illuminated with a blue LED light (green fluorescence)
Captured by Dr. Gabriel G. Martins of The Instituto Gulbelkian de Ciencia, this video shows a sequence of "virtual" slices through a quail embryo at 10 day incubation:
This 3D reconstruction of a quail embryo – comprised of more than 1,000 separate images – shows in startling clarity and detail the anatomy of the specimen. The winning video shows a sequence of “virtual” slices through the whole embryo with 10 days of (in egg) gestation. With this technique, studying the whole anatomy of large specimens like this embryo (23mm long) is possible.
Subject matter: Heart of a two day old zebrafish (20x)
Technique: Light Sheet Microscopy (Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy)
This video clip of a beating heart of a two-day old zebrafish embryo, showing the movement of blood cells through the heart only 250 micrometers larger than a human hair, by Michael Weber of The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Germany, won second place.
Subject matter: Live HeLa (cancer) cell stained with MitroTracker Green
Technique: Fast 3D wide-field structured illumination microscopy (SIM)
This 3D reconstruction of live HeLa (cancer) cell by Dr. Lin Shao of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, shows for the very first time the inner details of the mitochondria in a living cell:
Shao used structured illuminated microscopy applied to the wide field microscope, doubling the normal resolution of the conventional microscope. With this technique, Dr. Shao captured more than 50 time points which were then reconstructed in three dimensions. Shao hopes this video inspires other microscopists to apply this technique in their own laboratories.