Showcasing the best scientific pictures, the Wellcome Image Awards are about to tour the UK. Here are ten to look out for
Maurizio De Angelis, illustration of pollen grains being released from the anther of a flower in the Asteraceae family of flowering plants
© Maurizio De Angelis
One of the largest families of flowering plants, commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, sunflower, or composite family, the Asteraceae family includes herbs, shrubs, plants and some trees.
The flowers are composed of flower heads made up of many tiny flowers or florets. Members of the Asteraceae family have been used as a source of food and in herbal medicines all over the world.
Anthony Edwards, Old model used in the teaching of Anatomy, Dublin
© Anthony Edwards
This anatomical model was about to be discarded as rubbish when the photographer decided to rescue it and take one last photograph to honour the service it provided to medical students in Trinity College Dublin.
The photographer back-lit the model to provide a certain effect, making the model appear to be sleeping or taking a rest in a chair after a weary day.
David Linstead, Cat tongue, cross section
© David Linstead
Polarised light micrograph of a cross section of a cat tongue. This sample is from a vintage prepared slide between 1870 and 1905.
Blood vessels were injected with dye (iron or silver preparation; black) before fixing and sectioning the tissue in order to visualise the capillaries in the tissue. This was a newly developed technique at that time.
Geraldine Thompson, Full paediatric sensory unit
© Geraldine Thompson
An interactive multi-sensory unit designed to provide a distraction for anxious children undergoing painful hospital procedures.
The unit is approximately five foot tall and includes a bubble tube, fibre optic lights, mirrors, a solar projector and the capability of producing sound.
Albert Cardona, nervous system in a fruit fly larva
© Albert Cardona, HHMI Janelia Research Campus
Neural circuits were digitally reconstructed from serial section transmission electron micrographs through an abdominal segment of the fly’s nervous system.
This image shows a lateral view of neurones and neuronal synapses in the neuropil. The transparent orange spheres represent points of interest on the skeletons of the neurones, such as the presence of mitochondria and other features.
Gregory Szeto, Adelaide Tovar, Jeffrey Wyckoff, drug-releasing depots in mouse lungs
Confocal micrograph of whole mouse lungs loaded with drug carrying microparticles (red/pink). The microparticles were also loaded with a fluorescent tracking dye so that they could be visualised a week after administration.
Current anti-cancer therapies have many toxic side effects so research into other ways of delivering drugs to specific areas of the body are being investigated in order to decrease these unwanted side effects. Here, microparticles were delivered to the lungs using a route similar to drugs administered by an inhaler.
Professor M Hausser, Sarah Rieubland and Arnd Roth, UCL, purkinje cell and dendritic tree, rat cerebellar cortex
© Prof M Hausser, Sarah Rieubland and Arnd Roth, UCL
Scanning electron micrograph of the dendritic tree of a purkinje neurone in the cerebellar cortex of a rat brain.
Dendritic trees are the tiny receiving elements of neurones and receive the vast majority of input information coming into the neurone. This purkinje cell was filled with a visual marker, then imaged using a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope which allows neurones and neural circuits to be reconstructed in high resolution.
Luis de la Torre-Ubieta, mouse brain, coronal view
© Luis de la Torre-Ubieta, Geschwind Laboratory, UCLA
Coronal view of a section of mouse brain which has been sliced down a vertical axis to divide it into front and back.
To create this image, brain tissue was first rendered optically transparent in order to be able to look deep into the tissue. Individual images were captured every 5.3 micrometres through a 751 micrometre thick piece of tissue and then subsequently combined into the single image seen here.
Daniel Kariko, Boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis)
© Daniel Kariko
The boll weevil is a beetle which feeds on and lays its eggs in the cotton plant, developing from egg to adult in 20 days.
Agricultural pests have long beaks or snouts and can destroy entire cotton crops, this specimen was first imaged with a stereoscopic light microscope in order to produce a colour image. The same area was then imaged by monochromatic scanning electron microscopy which, has much greater depth of field and increased sharpness for the entire specimen.
Kevin Mackenzie, Greenfly Eye.
© Kevin Mackenzie
Scanning electron micrograph of a greenfly eye. Aphids have a pair of curved compound eyes that bulge out of the head and have a wide angle of view.
Each eye is made up of thousands of repeating units known as ‘ommatidia’, each with a tiny lens on the front surface. Each lens faces a slightly different direction, and together they produce a mosaic image. This allows the fly to see very quick movements but not fine details or objects that are far away.
The Wellcome Image Awards exhibition opens at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester on March 19 2015.
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