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Olympus BioScapes 2012

An enchanting look at this year's winning scientific images captured with microscopes

by Graham Hiemstra in Tech on 21 December 2012

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Each year as part of the Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition, the world's most impressive images and movies of life science subjects taken by microscope are put on show. The work of this year's more than 2000 entrants delivered striking snapshots of human, plant and animal cells in brilliant light, judged on aesthetics, technique and scientific relevancy.

For the first time in the competition's nine-year history, a video was chosen as the winner. The 58-second video by Mr. Ralph Grimm shows microscopic animals with hair-like cilia moving at an incomprehensible speed to sweep food into their mouths.

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As runners-up to the video more traditionally beautiful images were chosen, including kaleidoscopic red algae in second place and a colorful jumble of science fiction-esque East-coast US fern in third. Also of particular beauty in our eyes was the unicellular green alga that resembles something you'd find in Dubai's manmade island range in fifth place, as well as a diffused reflection illumination print of butterfly wing scales shot at 200x magnification that came in tenth.

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To see the rest of the top 10 selections and the long list of honorable mentions visit Olympus BioScapes online.

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