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First-Ever Image of the Blood-Brain Barrier in a Live Zebrafish Embryo Takes First Place in 2012 Nikon Small World Competition

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MELVILLE, N.Y., Oct. 23, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nikon is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Small World Photomicrography Competition, with this year's top honors going to Dr. Jennifer Peters and Dr. Michael Taylor of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Their photomicrograph, "The blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo" is believed to be the first-ever image showing the formation of the blood-brain barrier in a live animal.





Nikon Small World recognizes excellence in photomicrography, honoring Drs. Peters and Taylor along with 97 other winners from around the world – some of whom won multiple times – who submitted images that showcase the delicate balance between outstanding scientific technique and exquisite artistic quality.

"Year over year, we receive incredible images from all over the world for the Nikon Small World Competition, and it is our privilege to honor and showcase these talented researchers and photomicrographers," said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments. "We are proud that this competition is able to demonstrate the true power of scientific imaging and its relevance to both the scientific communities as well as the general public."

First place winners Peters and Taylor partnered to capture the image highlighting their research of the blood brain barrier. "We used fluorescent proteins to look at brain endothelial cells and watched the blood-brain barrier develop in real-time," said Drs. Peters and Taylor. "We took a three-dimensional snapshot under a confocal microscope. Then, we stacked the images and compressed them into one – pseudo coloring them in rainbow to illustrate depth."

The top five images this year come from a wide variety of artistic visual concepts and scientific disciplines who all share a common goal of outstanding photomicrographs that demonstrate superior technical competency and artistic skill.

Top Five Images:

  1. Dr. Jennifer L. Peters and Dr. Michael R. Taylor, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; "The blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo"
  2. Walter Piorkowski, "Live newborn lynx spiderlings"
  3. Dr. Dylan Burnette, National Institutes of Health; "Human bone cancer (osteosarcoma) showing actin filaments (purple), mitochondria (yellow), and DNA (blue)"
  4. Dr. W. Ryan Williamson, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI); "Drosophila melanogaster visual system halfway through pupal development, showing retina (gold), photoreceptor axons (blue), and brain (green)"
  5. Honorio Cócera-La Parra, University of Valencia; "Cacoxenite (mineral) from La Paloma Mine, Spain"

This year's judges were once again comprised of top science and media industry experts:

Daniel Evanko, Editor, Nature Methods; Martha Harbison, Senior Editor, Popular Science; Dr. Robert D. Goldman, Stephen Walter Ranson Professor and Chair, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University and Liza A. Pon, Ph.D., Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology and Director, Confocal and Specialized Microscopy Shared Resource, Columbia University.

Top images from the 2012 Nikon Small World Competition will be exhibited in a full-color calendar and through a national museum tour. For additional information, please visit www.nikonsmallworld.com, or follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @NikonSmallWorld.

THE OFFICIAL 2012 NIKON SMALL WORLD WINNERS

The following are the Top 20 and Honorable Mentions for Nikon Small World 2012. The full gallery of winning images, along with Images of Distinction can be viewed at www.nikonsmallworld.com.

1st Place
Dr. Jennifer L. Peters and Dr. Michael R. Taylor
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Memphis, Tennessee USA
The blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo
Confocal
20x
2nd Place
Walter Piorkowski
South Beloit, Illinois, USA
Live newborn lynx spiderlings
Reflected Light, Fiber Optics, Image Stacking
6x
3rd Place
Dr. Dylan Burnette
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Human bone cancer (osteosarcoma) showing actin filaments (purple), mitochondria (yellow), and DNA (blue)
Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM)
63x
4th Place
Dr. W. Ryan Williamson
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Ashburn, Virginia, USA
Drosophila melanogaster visual system halfway through pupal development, showing retina (gold), photoreceptor axons (blue), and brain (green)
Confocal
1500x
5th Place
Honorio Cócera-La Parra
Museum of Geology, Department of Geology
University of Valencia
Valencia, Spain
Cacoxenite (mineral) from La Paloma Mine, Spain
Transmitted Light
18x
6th Place
Marek Mis
Marek Mis Photography
Suwalki, Poland
Cosmarium sp. (desmid) near a Sphagnum sp. leaf
Polarized Light
100x
7th Place
Dr. Michael John Bridge
HSC Core Research Facilities - Cell Imaging Lab
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Eye organ of a Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) third-instar larvae
Confocal
60x
8th Place
Gerd A. Guenther
Düsseldorf, Germany
Pleurobrachia sp. (sea gooseberry) larva
Differential Interference Contrast
500x
9th Place
Geir Drange
Asker, Norway
Myrmica sp. (ant) carrying its larva
Reflected Light, Image Stacking
5x
10th Place
Dr. Alvaro Migotto
University of São Paulo, Centro de Biologia Marinha
São Paulo, Brazil
Brittle star
Stereomicroscopy, Darkfield
8x
11th Place
Jessica Von Stetina
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Single optical section through the tip of the gut of a Drosophila melanogaster larva expressing a reporter for Notch signaling pathway activity (green), and stained with cytoskeletal (red) and nuclear (blue) markers
Confocal
25x
12th Place
Esra Guc
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
Lausanne, Switzerland
3D lymphangiogenesis assay. Cells sprout from dextran beads embedded in fibrin gel
Fluorescence, Confocal
200x
13th Place
Dr. Diana Lipscomb
Department of Biological Sciences
George Washington University
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Sonderia sp. (a ciliate that preys upon various algae, diatoms, and cyanobacteria)
Nomarski Interference Contrast
400x
14th Place
José R. Almodóvar Rivera
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, Biology Department
Mayaguez Puerto Rico, USA
Pistil of Adenium obesum
Image Stacking
10x
15th Place
Andrea Genre
Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology
University of Turin
Turin, Italy
Section of a Coccinella (ladybug) leg
Confocal
10x
16th Place
Douglas Moore
University Relations & Communications/Geology
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA
Fossilized Turitella agate containing Elimia tenera (freshwater snails) and ostracods (seed shrimp)
Stereomicroscopy
7x
17th Place
Charles Krebs
Charles Krebs Photography
Issaquah, Washington, USA
Stinging nettle trichome on leaf vein
Transmitted Light
100x
18th Place
Dr. David Maitland
www.davidmaitland.com
Feltwell, United Kingdom
Coral sand
Brightfield
100x
19th Place
Dr. Somayeh Naghiloo
Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences
University of Tabriz
Tabriz, Iran
Floral primordia of Allium sativum (garlic)
Epi-Illumination
20th Place
Dorit Hockman
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience
University of Cambridge
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Embryos of the species Molossus rufus (black mastiff bat)
Brightfield
HONORABLE MENTIONS
Geir Drange
Asker, Norway
Two ants of different genus meeting on a twig
Reflected Light, Image Stacking
2.5x
Ralph Claus Grimm
Jimboomba, Queensland, Australia
Radiolaria shells
Darkfield
120x
Dr. Terue Kihara
Senckenberg am Meer, German Center for Marine Biodiversity Research (DZMB)
Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Pontostratiotes sp., female, dorsal view. A deep-sea copepod collected in the southeastern Atlantic at a depth of 5395m.
Confocal
10x
Charles Krebs
Charles Krebs Photography
Issaquah, Washington, USA
Haematococcus (algae), Euplotes (protozoa), and Cyclidium (ciliate)
Differential Interference Contrast
400x
ChangHwan Lee
Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire, USA
Ashbya gossypii (a multinucleate filamentous fungus) CLN3 mRNA (orange) and nuclei (blue)
Single Molecule Fluorescence In-Situ Hybridization
63x
Dr. Kenneth Libbrecht
Department of Physics
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Pasadena, California, USA
Snow crystal, illuminated with colored lights
Homemade Microscope
5x
Douglas Moore
University Relations & Communications/Geology
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA
Fossilized stromatolite (accumulations of cyanobacteria on a substrate)
Stereomicroscopy
12.5x
Nikola Rahme
Budapest, Hungary
Eye and first segments of Cucujus cinnaberinus (Cinnabar flat beetle)
Reflected Light
18x
Dr. Donna Beer Stolz
Department of Cell Biology
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Moth antenna
Confocal Stack Reconstruction of Autofluorescence
100x
Jessica Von Stetina
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Single optical section through the whole gut of a Drosophila melanogaster larva expressing a reporter for Notch signaling pathway activity (green), and stained with cytoskeletal (red) and nuclear (blue) markers
Dr. Arlene Wechezak
Anacortes, Washington, USA
Ptilota (red algae)
Darkfield
10x

ABOUT THE NIKON SMALL WORLD PHOTOMICROGRAPHY COMPETITION

The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography. Participants may submit their images in traditional 35mm format, or upload digital images directly at www.nikonsmallworld.com. The first, second and third prize winners will receive a selection of Nikon products and equipment worth $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. For additional information, contact Nikon Small World, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747, USA or phone (631) 547-4200.

The Nikon Small World logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=12577

ABOUT NIKON INSTRUMENTS INC.

Nikon Instruments, Inc. is a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical applications. Nikon provides complete optical systems that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Cutting-edge instruments include microscopes, precision measuring equipment, digital imaging products and software. Nikon Instruments is the microscopy and instrumentation arm of Nikon Inc., the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology. For more information, visit www.nikoninstruments.com. Product-related inquiries may be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.

The Nikon Instruments logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=8586

CONTACT: Media Contact: Lia LoBello Peppercomm 212-931-6180 llobello@peppercomm.com

Source: Nikon Instruments