A microscopic image of a fish face by Oscar Ruiz took first prize in the 42nd Annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition in 2016. The contest comprised fascinating submissions from 70 countries submitted by scientists, photographers as well as hobbyists.
Ruiz, who works at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, took the winning image as part of his research on the facial development of a four-day-old zebrafish embryo. His research, with time-lapse photography playing an integral role, is focused on studying gene mutations that lead to facial abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate in humans. His image proves that images can be both useful to science and beautiful to look at too.
“Using a live-imaging approach means we can better understand and pinpoint exactly how and why these developmental abnormalities occur. The first step is knowing how it happens, then we can figure out how to fix it,” explains Ruiz.
Take a look at the top images from the contest that showcase a microscopic world.