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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

BioScapes - A Visual Feast For The New Year

Olympus BioScapes is an international digital imaging competition featuring fascinating and extraordinarily beautiful life sciences photography captured through light microscopes.

The following images are selected from the winners and honorable mentions in the 2014 competition to give you a sample of the beauty and range of the collection. View all of the 2014 winners, which also include videos, on the contest website.


Barnacle appendages that sweep plankton and other food into the barnacle's shell for consumption. Confocal microscopy, 100x. Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. Third Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com
Butter daisy (Melampodium divaricatum) flower at 2x magnification. Fluorescence. Oleksandr Holovachov, Ekuddsvagen, Sweden. Seventh Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com
Proboscis (mouthparts) of a vampire moth (Calyptra thalictri). The moth was captured by Jennifer Zaspel in Russia. The proboscis was imaged at 10x and shows the dorsal legulae, tearing hooks, and erectile barbs that facilitate the acquisition of fruit juices and mammalian blood when feeding. Confocal microscopy. Matthew S. Lehnert and Ashley L. Lash, Kent State University at Stark, North Canton, OH, USA. Eighth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com
Green coneheaded planthopper (Acanalonia conica) nymph with its gears. The insects are accomplished jumpers, able to accelerate at staggering 500 times the force of gravity (500xg); to synchronize the movement of their hind legs, their trochanters are coupled with a pair of cogs. Image shows dorsal view of these trochanteral gears. The insect demonstrates that gears, which until recently were thought to be a human invention, exist in the natural world. Confocal microscopy, magnification ca. 200x. Igor Siwanowicz, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, Ashburn, VA, USA. Ninth Prize, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com
Mosquito larva, early instar, polarized darkfield illumination, 100x. Charles Krebs, Issaquah, WA, USA. Honorable Mention, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com
Shepherd's purse seed pod, treated in a lye-water solution to render the pod's outer wall nearly transparent. Capsella burse-pastoris, a common weed and part of the mustard family, produces small triangular-shaped seed pods. The plant is commonly used in Asian cooking, tea and herbal medicines. Captured at 6x using brightfield microsopy. Edwin Lee, Carrollton, TX, USA. Honorable Mention, 2014 Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition®. www.OlympusBioScapes.com
There is a touring exhibition of selected competition entries. The exhibit will visit the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore September 1, 2015–December 31, 2015.

MCPL carries a number of books that can teach you more about biological imaging and electron microscopy. Many of these are E-Books you can read in your browser from Safari Books Online. You can access these from the E-Books section of the library's website, MCPL E-Books.

Search the MCPL catalog for electron microscopy. In addition to books, you will get some websites in your search results, including the National Center for Electron Microscopy. One of the most intriguing of the cataloged websites is Bugscope: "The Bugscope project provides free interactive access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) so that students anywhere in the world can explore the microscopic world of insects... students login over the web and control the microscope."




Nell M



Note: All the above images of life science subjects captured through light microscopes are copyright and come from Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition, www.OlympusBioScapes.com, and are used with permission of Olympus BioScapes.

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