Enlarge /. Detail from the winning entry of the first Life Science Light Microscopy Award from Olympus Global Image of the Year. It shows the immunostaining of a mouse brain section with two fluorophores.
For several years now we have been presenting the winners of Nikon's annual Small World microscopy competition. Olympus has now entered the artistic imaging arena with its first Global Image of the Year Award. As with the Small World competition, artistic scientific imaging is to be highlighted to inspire the world to appreciate the beauty of microscopy imaging. Olympus announced the winners (one global winner plus three regional winners) and several runners-up last month. You don't disappoint.
As John Timmer of Ars stated in his coverage of Small World 2018: "Microscopy is in many ways a sibling of photography that goes beyond the inclusion of high-end lenses. Although this may not matter for scientific purposes, it depends a compelling microscope picture of things like composition, lighting, exposure and more. And nowadays both areas are heavily dependent on post-processing. "All of these elements are abundant in the new Olympus winners' crop.
The Spaniard Ainara Pintor received the highest award with more than 400 entries with her beautiful picture of an immune-colored mouse brain disk with the title Neurogarden. The image focuses on the hippocampus area of a single layer, but according to Pintor, there are more than 70 million neurons throughout the mouse brain. Howard Vindin of Australia won the regional award for the Asia Pacific region by taking an autofluorescence image of a mouse embryo. The American participant Tagide de Carvalho won the regional award for America with his colorful picture of a Tardigrade. The regional winner for Europe, the Middle East and Africa was the Brit Alan Prescott, who captured the frozen section of a mouse head with his picture.
Honorable mentions included impressive microscopic images of photonic crystals in insect scales, crystallized amino acids, desert grasshopper wings and opal embedded in sandstone. The field of photomicroscopy is clearly still attracting top-class talent.
Global winner: immunostaining of a mouse brain disc with two fluorophores
Regional winner for America: It's a colorful tardigrade!
Tagide de Carvalho / Olymp
Regional winner in the Asia-Pacific region: autofluorescence image of a mouse embryo.
Howard Vindin / Olymp
EMEA Regional Winner: Frozen section of a mouse head.
Alan Prescott / Olympus
Special mention: mouse spinal cord.
Tong Zhang / Olymp
Honorable mention: Image of a color-coded 3D depth reconstruction of confocal images of microtubules in monkey fibroblast cells.
Daniela Malide / Olymp
Photonic crystals in insects (beetles and weevils) FTW!
Rudolf Buechi / Olymp
Production of amino acids crystallized from an ethanol solution.
Justin Zoll / Olymp
The desert grasshopper is an example of an insect species that has developed foldable wings to keep them better clean and intact. This picture is called A Road in the Sky because "veins look like streets and spikes on the wing membrane are like stars".
Hamed Rajabi / Olymp
Green gem material, Prase Opal, magnified through a microscope, looks like an aerial view of the coast. The brown areas are host rocks made of iron sandstone.
Nathan Renfro / Olympus
Microscopic image of the brain of fruit flies.
Martin Hagelstein / Olymp
Inflorescence of developing flower buds that express fluorescent reporters (cyan) with red colored cell walls.
Nat Prunet / Olymp
The ovary of a wasp causing bile shows the eggs.
Ming-Der Lin / Olymp