October 11, 2018
Nikon Instruments Inc. today announced the winners of the forty-fourth annual Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. First place was awarded to Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, who sees the eyes as the windows to stunning insect artwork and research. The 2018 winning image captures part of the compound eyes and surrounding greenish scales of an Asian Red Palm weevil. This type of Metapocyrtus subquadrulifer beetle is typically less than 11 mm (0.43 in) in size and is found in the Philippines.
Al Habshi captured the image using a reflected light technique and stacking of hundreds of images. The winning image is a compilation of more than 128 micrographs. According to Al Habshi, “the main challenge was to show the black body against the black background without overexposing the skin and scales.” He was able to strike the perfect balance by controlling the background distance from the subject and using deft lighting and sample positioning.
“Because of the variety of coloring and the lines that display in the eyes of insects, I feel like I’m photographing a collection of jewelry,” said Al Habshi. “Not all people appreciate small species, particularly insects. Through photomicrography we can find a whole new, beautiful world which hasn’t been seen before. It’s like discovering what lies under the Ocean’s surface.”
While beautiful to photograph, weevils present infestation problems world-wide and often destroy crops. Al Habshi’s photography has helped advance the work of his partner, Professor Claude Desplan, of New York University Abu Dhabi. His lab and Al Habshi’s photos have contributed a better understanding of the Red Palm Weevil and how to better control the population.
“The Nikon Small World competition is now in its 44th year, and every year we continue to be astounded by the winning images,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments. “Imaging and microscope technologies continue to develop and evolve to allow artists and scientists to capture scientific moments with remarkable clarity. Our first place this year illustrates that fact beautifully.”
Second place was awarded to Rogelio Moreno for his colorful photo of a Fern sorus, a clustered structure that produces and contains spores. The image was produced using image stacking and autoflorecence, which requires hitting the sorus with ultraviolet light. Each color represents a different maturity stage of each sporangium inside the sorus.
Saulius Gugis captured third place for his adorable spittlebug photo, captured using focus-stacking. This spittlebug can be seen in the process of making his “bubble house.” Spittlebugs produce the foam substance to hide from predators, insulate themselves from temperature fluctuations and to stay moist.
In addition to the top three winners, Nikon Small World recognized an additional 92 photos out over almost 2,500 entries from scientists and artists in 89 countries.
The 2018 judging panel included:
• Dr. Joseph Fetcho: Professor, Associate Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University.
• Dr. Tristan Ursell: Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and at the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon.
• Adam Dunnakey: Broadcast journalist at CNN International.
• Jacob Templin: Senior video producer at Quartz.
• Eric Clark (Moderator): Research Coordinator and Applications Developer at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.
For additional information, please visit www.nikonsmallworld.com, or follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter @NikonSmallWorld and Instagram @NikonInstruments.
September 25, 2018, via The New York Times
Charles Kuen Kao passed away this past Sunday. Widely referred to as the "Father of Fiber Optics", Dr. Kao played a central role in the development of modern optical fibers, and shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work.
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September 24, 2018, via Nikon Instruments
Thanks again to all who helped make the new Nikon Imaging Center at the University of California, San Diego a reality! We’re humbled to partner with UCSD in empowering #bioscience research with cutting edge imaging technologies and expertise.
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September 21, 2018, via Science
Did you know that a leaf being eaten by a hungry insect quickly alerts its fellows to the impending danger? New research finds that the amino acid #glutamate is a wound signal released by injured leaves that sets off a #calcium wave propagating to distant tissues and eliciting defense responses.
Video below of glutamate concentration changes in response to damage was acquired using a Nikon SMZ25 stereomicroscope with NIS-Elements software.
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September 13, 2018, via Science
New research published in Science details exciting mechanism for microtubule amplification involving the severing enzymes spastin and katanin and in the absence of a nucleating factor. Video of microtubule damage and subsequent repair was acquired using a Nikon TIRF microscope.
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September 12, 2018, via Journal of Cell Biology
Wow, new paper from Lu et al. in Journal of Cell Biology describing model for Drosophila oocyte posterior determination involving kinesin driven transport and streaming of oskar mRNA to the posterior, coupled with myosin V driven retention.
Imaging was performed with both Nikon A1 confocal and spinning disk microscopes. Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Learn More @ Journal of Cell Biology
September 10, 2018, via Journal of Hepatology
Newborns face a number of challenges, and must alter their cellular makeup and gene expression to suit their new environment. Using a Nikon A1R confocal microscope, Nakagaki et al. are first to perform in vivo imaging of the immune response in newborn mouse livers, finding a completely different landscape compared to the adult liver.
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September 04, 2018, via Nikon Instruments
Nikon is happy to announce the new Nikon A1 HD25 and A1R HD25 confocal microscopes, featuring a 25 mm field of view, and thus providing nearly twice the imaging area compared to a typical point scanner. Visit our product page and learn more!
Learn More @ Nikon Instruments
August 21, 2018, via Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) is important for transcription of DNA, but how does it get there? Researchers have found that Pol II can reversibly phase separate into liquid droplets and form “hubs” at active genes.
Single molecule imaging for this study was performed on a Nikon TIRF microscope.
Learn More @ Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
August 17, 2018, via UCLA
California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA researchers introduce Marvel University a new web series providing a nanoscience take on the powers of Marvel superheroes Ant Man and the Wasp, including discussion of how their advanced microscopes can even track a shrunken Ant-Man. Check it out!
Learn More @ UCLA
August 16, 2018, via The Atlantic
Bigger animals are more likely to get cancer because they have more cells, right? Elephants have much lower rates of cancer than expected, and researchers might have just found the culprit – extra copies of the LIF6 gene, which is expressed in response to DNA damage and causes apoptosis.
Learn More @ The Atlantic
August 13, 2018, via Nikon Small World
“We often think art is just a human creation, but it has always existed at a micro level. It’s just a matter of finding it and bringing it to the surface.” Past Nikon Small World Competition winner, Dr. Margaret Oechsli explains how she finds beauty in science to create extraordinary art. Check out her insights in the newest Masters of Microscopy profile.
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August 06, 2018, via Nature Communications
Could estrogen have protective effects against cancer cell invasion? New research finds that estrogen can help suppress invasion by remodeling the actin cytoskeleton of certain types of breast cancer. Imaging was performed with a Nikon inverted microscope.
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July 23, 2018, via Nikon Instruments
Thank you to everybody who visited Biolab Brasil, Nikon’s authorized high-end research microscope dealer in Brazil, at this year’s SBBC 2018 Meeting in Sao Paulo! We hope to see you next year.
July 19, 2018, via Cell
New research in Cell tackles the biology of minimal residual disease (MRD) – the small number of cancer cells remaining after treatment – to identify key drivers of therapeutic resistance. Confocal imaging was performed using a Nikon A1 system.
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July 18, 2018, via Imaging Resource
Did you know that Nikon designs its own sensors? Nikon-designed sensors can be found on the award-winning D850, as well as our Digital Sight series cameras for microscopy. Click to take an unprecedented look into Nikon’s sensor design and manufacturing process!
Learn More @ Imaging Resource
July 17, 2018, via OSA - The Optical Society
Laser chromosome welding may sound like sci-fi, but researchers have demonstrated a new technique using pulsed violet lasers to cut and paste chromosome fragments. Click to learn more!
Learn More @ OSA - The Optical Society
July 16, 2018, via Current Biology
Imaging with a Nikon upright microscope helps identify the last meal of 5300-year-old Iceman, finding a high fat diet supplemented with meat and cereals.
Learn More @ Current Biology
July 13, 2018, via Cell
Researchers characterize #dopamine dynamics using a new genetically encoded fluorescent dopamine sensor and a Nikon A1 confocal microscope. Click to learn more!
Learn More @ Cell
July 12, 2018, via Nikon Small World
Thanks to everyone who attended our Nikon Small World Exhibit Reception at the MBL in Woods Hole, MA. The exhibit will be open to the public through July 27 at the MBL Club, please come check it out!
Learn More @ Nikon Small World