Award-winning microscopic images of tick heads rendered in psychedelic colors can change the view of blood-sucking parasites.
The intense enlargement, combined with the protruding heads of the creature, its internal structure, and the glowing shades that illuminate the armored exoskeleton, makes the tick look like a strange (or beautiful?) Visitor from another world.
This image shows the perspective of a small arthropod that you probably haven’t seen before. And that’s exactly what recently Nikon Small World Micrograph Contest, Currently in the 47th year. Tick photographs, and over 100 other photographs selected for the contest’s highest award, show the science and beauty of organisms, minerals, and other objects that are too small to be seen with the naked eye.
But to really stand out from the pack, it’s not enough to look beautiful, says Alexa L. Mattheyses, a contest judge who is an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical College.
Instead, the image should also stimulate curiosity. “Does it cause something in you? Do you want to know more about it?” Mattheyses told Live Science. “The subject matter is very diverse. We are all attracted to different things, so it is important to have a diverse jury there,” says Mattheyses.
At one level, Hank Greenberg, a contest judge who is the creator, writer, and science communicator of YouTube content, decides that photos need to be viewed “like any other kind of art.”
“We talked about how the images made us feel, their composition, the stories they told, and the technology used,” Green told Live Science in an email. “Special attention was paid to what everyone can enjoy, but the deeper you understand it, the deeper the fun will be.”
In the contest, five judges evaluated about 1,900 entries from 88 countries and ranked 7th overall in tick images. It was captured using a confocal microscope by researcher Paul Stoodley, director of the Ohio State University Campus Microscopy and Imaging Facility (CMIF), and Tong Zhang, CMIF Associate Director and Senior Microscopist. .. Very little light blocks out-of-focus parts of the image.
“People can see some fine details in this tick’s head, especially in its mouth area. [an] Structure like a reverse arrow. Mites use this type of structure to anchor to animals, “he told Live Science by email. He said the color scheme of the image made the mouth stand out from the rest of the head.
The first prize in the contest is given to Jason Kirk, technical director of optical imaging and vital microscope cores at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, with images of the underside of oak leaves and a delicate protective structure called trichomes. Was done. The photo shows the white trichomes of the leaves surrounded by pink pores. These are similar to sea anemones with tentacles.
“This picture is the result of an experimental microscope system I was building at home,” Kirk told Live Science. When Kirk’s daughter brought oak leaves to test the equipment, he was intrigued by the trichomes on the underside of the leaves. For the photo of the contest, Kirk collected newly germinated oak leaves that had just begun to show trichomes.
“The biggest technical challenge was lighting,” he said. To illuminate a small structure, it was necessary to strike a delicate balance between the colors and temperatures of the three light sources. One is on the top of the leaf, one is on the bottom, and the other is on the side that illuminates the trichome.
Kashiha said, “It was in our backyard and we interacted with it every day, but we don’t really understand what it actually looks like in the vicinity,” he said. Told. “I hope it makes it a little harder to see what’s at your feet.”
“Because not only scientists but also amateur scientists can see all the beautiful images taken and submitted, we can open our hearts to the different ways in which images are obtained and the different types of information that can be obtained from them. “I will,” said Mattheyses. “I found it really exciting and vibrant to be able to make that decision and go back to my job and see something new!”
For those of us who don’t regularly peek at small wonders under a microscope, seeing these images can still be a transformational experience, Green said.
“The longer I spend in the microcosm, the more I think I’m grateful for everything,” he said. “With great care,’Why doesn’t anything work in this broken world?'” “It’s so awe-inspiring that anything works.”
You can see all of the top 20 winners and prestigious mentions of the contest Nikon Small World website..
Originally published in Live Science.
Tick transforms a sci-fi nightmare into a shining alien with trippy photos
https://www.livescience.com/glowing-nightmare-tick-nikon-small-world.html Tick transforms a sci-fi nightmare into a shining alien with trippy photos