Incredible science photography

Incredible science photography 1

Wellcome Image Awards:

Zebrafish embryo above) – The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a tropical freshwater fish originating from eastern Asia and is a member of the minnow family. The zebrafish embryo has gained ground as a disease model, an assay system for drug screening and is used in cancer research. Picture: Annie Cavanagh.


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Head louse egg attached to a strand of hair. Head lice (Pediculus) feed on human blood and live in close proximity to the scalp. They lay eggs (nits) in sacs which firmly attach to individual strands of hair near the base of the shaft. Horizontal image width is 1.5 mm. Picture: Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen


They may look pretty but these deadly breast cancer cells are being treated with nano sized drug carriers. The purple regions show areas of cells dying through a mechanism known as programmed cell death or “apoptosis” while the blue regions represent healthy cells. Diameter of the spheroid is approximately 250 micrometers. Picture: Khuloud T. Al-Jamal & Izzat Suffian


Painful kidney stones form when salts, minerals and chemicals in the urine (for example calcium, oxalate and uric acid) crystallise and solidify. Small kidney stones are often passed naturally but larger stones can sometimes get lodged in the kidney or other parts of the urinary tract. Size of stone is 2 mm. Picture: Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen.


An incredible mechanical heart pump in a living human chest. The scan was performed with an extremely low radiation dose on a patient who had received a mechanical heart pump while waiting for a heart transplant. The image was rendered with a 3D volume rendering technique to check the wiring of the pump to the left side of the diseased heart and to the aorta (major artery supplying oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body). The pump connection to the heart was faultless. The patient is scanned in a series of virtual x-ray “slices” which are then digitally reconstructed to produce a 3D image. Picture: Anders Persson


It looks pretty close-up but this extreme close-up is nothing more than an agricultural sludge sample. Horizontal image width is 155 micrometres. Picture: Josué Friedrich Kernahan and Enrique Rodríguez Caña


This colourful image illustrates the nerve fibres in a healthy adult human brain gathered by an MRI machine. Brain cells communicate with each other through these nerve fibres, colours have been used to represent the direction of the fibres: blue is for fibres travelling up/down, green for front/back, and red for left/right. These patterns of connectivity in the brain are being used to study brain development and developmental disorders such as dyslexia. Picture: Zeynep M. Saygin, McGovern Institute/MIT


The close-up structure of a human heart’s aortic valve. Picture: Sergio Bertazzo, Department of Materials, Imperial College London


Arabidopsis thaliana flower, also commonly known as thale cress. Some of the anthers are open, revealing pollen grains ready for dispersal. Arabidopsis was the first plant to have its entire genome sequenced and is widely used as a model organism in molecular and plant biology. Horizontal width of image is 1200 microns. Magnification 100x. Picture: Stefan Eberhard


Have you taken yours today? This is a close up image of a the humble vitamin C. Picture: Spike Walker


Brown long-eared bat, x-ray. This poor guy was captured and killed by a cat. The brown long-eared bat is a medium sized bat with ears almost as long as its body. It is commonly found in the UK and across Europe, and all species are protected by law in the UK. Picture: Chris Thorn/


Astrantia major ‘Hadspen Blood’ is a stunningly beautiful yet deadly herb used throughout human history. It was cultivated as a pot-herb, recommended for “cold griefs and diseases both of the stomache and body”, hysteria, cramps, heart failure, epilepsy, purulent wounds and ulcers, and ‘reviving the abilitie of generation being almost extinct’ which Parkinson doubted, quartain fevers, colic and for purging the brain. Pommet (1712) gave a completely different list: against poisons, stinking breath, malignant and pestilential diseases, vertigo, apoplexy, palsies, toothache, scabby head, and agrees with its use for ulcers. It is not used now as it is likely to be toxic. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London. Picture: Dr Henry Oakeley


Lagena species Foraminifera are marine, bottom-living predators which secrete a calcium carbonate test (external shell or case). This specimen came from the South China Sea and has a narrow neck with an external corkscrew-like thread. Imaged with crossed polarising filters. Stack of 54 images. Horizontal Field Width is 1.4 mm. Picture: Spike Walker


A solar panel’s semi-conductor: Solar energy can be exploited by using solar cells to directly convert sun light into electricity. It is one of the most abundant and cleanest renewable energy sources currently available. Using renewable energy sources reduces dependence on fossil fuels and helps to protect the environment. Horizontal image width is 320 micrometres. Picture: Eberhardt Josué Friedrich Kernahan and Enrique Rodríguez Cañas


A deer tick is embedded in the skin of a man’s leg.



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