From rodent optic nerves to alien-like coral, these are the Nikon Small World Photomicrography winners

Nikon Small World Competition
Rodent optic nerve head showing astrocytes (yellow), contractile proteins (red) and retinal vasculature (green) - 20X (Objective Lens Magnification) (Image credit: Qambari Hassanain)

Under the lens of a microscope, the world looks very different; abstract patterns, unusual shapes and vibrant colors create beautiful works of art the naked eye cannot see. From the ignition of a matchstick to caffeine crystals and sunflower pollen on a needle, the world of the very small makes the mundane extraordinary. Now in its 49th year, the Nikon Small World Photomicrography competition showcases the beautiful complexities of life. 

This year first place was awarded to  Hassanain Qambari and Jayden Dickson of the Lions Eye Institute, for their captivating image of a rodent optic nerve head, displaying astrocytes in yellow, contractile proteins in red, and retinal vasculature in green. IT contributes significantly to the study and potential reversal of diabetic retinopathy, a condition that afflicts one in five individuals with diabetes worldwide.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.