A luminous golden ‘fairy fly’ that seems to defy gravity as it hovers with feathered wings against a dark background took top prize in the 2008 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition, a forum for showcasing microscope photos and videos of life science subjects. Mr. M. I. ‘Spike’ Walker of Staffordshire, England, took top honors for the shimmering image of the tiny wasp that may be the world’s smallest insect at only 0.21mm long, or 1/25 the length of the average red ant. Walker’s image was selected from more than 1500 other images and movies–a competition record–to earn First Prize, $5000 worth of Olympus equipment.
Now in its fifth year, the Olympus BioScapes competition is the premier platform for honoring images and videos 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 merit. This year, in addition to Prizes one through 10, 70 other images and movies were recognized with Honorable Mentions. All images and the names of all honorees are available online.
This year’s winning images reflect a fascination with the influence of science in everyday life, with views of white wine, human teeth, ticks, wings and feathers, fruit flies, honeybees, mosquitoes, moss, pollen, lobster eggs, tongues, snails, and petrified wood among the honorees. Across the spectrum are other images that reflect the latest advances in neuroscience and cell biology, including the Fourth Prize image of zebrafish neurons captured by Albert Pan of Harvard University, using the ‘Brainbow’ imaging technique, one of the most advanced fluorescence imaging methodologies available today. (Last year’s top prize winner was a ‘Brainbow’ image captured by another researcher in the same Harvard University laboratory.)
“The winning images reflect the awesome grace and mystery of our natural world,” said Osamu Joji, Group Vice President and General Manager, Life Science, for Olympus America. “Each year, we review over a thousand images that provide us with a visual record of science in our time, images that shed light on the intricacy of our living universe. These images not only give us a new understanding of familiar objects, they reflect the extraordinary work being done in laboratories today where dedicated researchers study neurological disorders, cancer, plant science, developmental biology and much more.”
Other images recognized in this year’s competition include one of a cell expressing the protein of the Ebola virus; numerous striking photos of cells and the brain; vibrant botanical images; E. Coli; a fossil diatom, and much more.
Twenty of the 2008 winning and Honorable Mention images will be displayed in San Francisco at an event on December 14, and then will begin a national tour that will take them to such destinations as Philadelphia; suburban Washington DC; the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; and Allentown, PA. Other displays of winning BioScapes images will simultaneously be touring in cities across the US, Canada and Latin America throughout 2009.
Release Date: November 14, 2008
Source: Olympus America
Filed Under: Drug Discovery