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Vibrant Nature Scenes Magnified to Grand Proportions

juvenile Patiria miniata, or “bat star” starfish

Laurent Formery

These breathtaking images exhibit the magnificent views that can be observed through a microscope. These are two of the prize-winning entries from the Global Image of the Year Scientific Light Microscopy Award 2022, organized by microscope manufacturer Evident.

The top prize was awarded to Laurent Formery at Stanford University in California for his photograph of the nervous system of a juvenile Patiria miniata, or “bat star” starfish (pictured above). The image, with its intricate network of fine fibrils, resembles a scene plucked from another world. Formery used an antibody treatment and artificial coloring to illuminate the nerves that are dispersed throughout the starfish’s body.

Formery’s research focuses on marine invertebrates, particularly echinoderms like starfish and sea urchins. He stated, “We have limited knowledge about how these creatures shape their unique fivefold bodies, which is the subject of my research. I am pleased that by capturing images of them, I can convey the beauty present in our oceans and highlight the importance of understanding and conserving them.”

Germinating pollen grain of a morning glory attached to the stigma.

Igor Siwanowicz

Igor Siwanowicz won the prize for the Americas with his photograph (pictured above). It captures the germinating pollen grain of a morning glory flower attached to a stigma. The stigma, a vital part of the plant’s reproductive system, fills the lower portion of the image and is adorned with projections that aid in pollen capture.

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