Life in miniature: The incredible 'dancing' microscopic creatures one photographer found in his garden pondVideo of bugs in an Australian man's garden pond is the winner of this year's Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging CompetitionIt shows colonies of tiny freshwater rotifers, with spot-like red eyes and internal organs captured by a special techniqueWinner and ten runners up of the competition were announced in San Francisco and will now go on museum tour of the U.S.
17:42 GMT, 18 December 2012
This incredible close-up video shows how life operates on the microscopic level.
Ralph Grimm, a teacher from Jimboomba, Australia, captured the fascinating 58-second film showing the super-fast movements of tiny freshwater rotifers, whose hairlike cilia beat constantly to sweep food into their mouths.
The movie depicts colonies of the minuscule creatures found on a lily leaf in Mr Grimm's own pond, their spot-like red eyes and internal organs captured through the use of differential interference contrast illumination.
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For his efforts Mr Grimm was awarded first prize in the 2012 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition, which every year celebrates the best in microscopic photography.
The first video ever to capture the competition's top spot, it was selected from more than 2000 entries and earned Mr Grimm $5,000 (3,000) worth of Olympus equipment.
Now in its ninth year, the Olympus BioScapes Competition awards prizes of microscopic images and movies of human, plant and animal subjects as captured through light microscopes.
Any life science subject is eligible, and entries are judged based on the science they depict, their aesthetics (beauty and impact of the image), and their technical expertise.
Second prize: Red algae Scagelia, showing reproductive tetraspores and golden diatoms, by Arlene Wechezak, from Anacortes, Washington
Third prize: A common East-coast fern, Polypodium virginianum, showing a cluster of spore-filled sporangia and protective hairs called paraphyses, by Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia
The 2012 winning images and movies reflect the latest advances in neuroscience and cell biology documented by researchers, along with amazing glimpses of life on a microscopic scale captured by hobbyists, students and other photographers.
Specimens represent animal, plant and human subjects. For example, Second Prize went to a beautiful image of branching red algae captured by Arlene Wechezak of Anacortes, Washington.
Animal subjects are highlighted in vivid colours and rarely seen detail in several winning images this year.
Fourth prize: Claw of the crustacean amphipode Phronima sp, with muscles and rows of pigment cells visible, by Christian Sardet, of Villefranchesur-Mer, France, and Sharif Mirshak, of Montreal, Canada
Fifth prize: Unicellular green alga Micrasterias from lake sample. Twenty-two stacked images, captured using differential interference contrast by Rogelio Moreno Gill, from Panama City, Panama
Sixth prize: Close-up of the mouth of live mushroom coral Fungia sp. during expansion. Captured using tungsten illumination by James Nicholson, of the NOAA/NOS/NCCOS Centre for Coastal Environmental Health & Biomolecular Research, Charleston, South Carolina
For instance, Christian Sardet and Sharif Mirshak of The Plankton Chronicles Project, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, and Montreal, Quebec, Canada, respectively, earned Fourth Prize for a glowing image of a crustacean’s claw.
James Nicholson of the NOAA/NOS/NCCOS Centre for Coastal Environmental Health & Biomolecular Research, Fort Johnson Marine Lab, Charleston, South Carolina, captured a brilliant golden coral’s open mouth for his Sixth Prize honor.
Christian Klmbt and Imke Schmidt of the University of Munster, Germany took Seventh Prize for a photo of a fruit fly’s brain.
And Charles Krebs of Issaquah, Washington, captured a 10th Prize close-up of gossamer butterfly wings in shades of orange and purple.
Plant images also earned Top 10 status. Rogelio Moreno Gill of Panama City, Panama, captured an extraordinary Fifth Prize photo of a one-celled green alga found in a lake.
The Eighth Prize image captured by Edwin Lee of Carrollton, Texas, depicts a common weed called henbit in a striking, almost architectural light.
A Delphinium flower seed now looks like an intricately crocheted corsage in a Ninth Place image captured by Sahar Khodaverdi of the University of Tabriz in Iran.
Seventh prize: Beta-tubulin expression of a
Drosophila third instar larval brain, with eye imaginal discs.
Captured with confocal microscopy by Christian Klmbt and Imke Schmidt,
of University of Mnster, Germany
Eighth prize: Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) stamens anthers and filaments. The stamen is the male reproductive part of the flower. Captured using phase contrast illumination by Edwin Lee, from Carrollton, Texas
Ninth prize: Seed of Delphinium. The image was acquired from multiple Zstacked images using epi-fluorescence by Sahar Khodaverdi, of the University of Tabriz, in East Azerbaijan, Iran
Tenth prize: Butterfly 'Prola Beauty' (Panacea prola) wing scales magnified 200x. Image captured using diffused reflected illumination by Charles Krebs, from Issaquah, Washington
'These fascinating and beautiful images tell important stories that shed light on the living universe around us, showing us the intimate structures and dynamic events of life in ways that we cannot ordinarily see,' said Brad Burklow of Olympus America.
'BioScapes movies and still images remind us of the fascination and beauty of the natural world, and highlight important work going on in laboratories across the globe.
'The BioScapes Competition, with entries from an everincreasing number of countries and very diverse life science fields, allows Olympus to bring amazing images and stories to the attention of scientists and non-scientists alike.'
The winners were announced on Sunday night at a grand gala reception in San Francisco.
A selection of the 2012 winning and Honourable Mention images and videos will be displayed in a museum tour that will travel the U.S. over the coming year.