The freshwater polyp eats its prey. Mosquito larvae hatch from their eggs. Tardigrades explore their surroundings.
These stunning videos are among the films honored for the Nikon Small Word in Motion Awards. The award is presented to films that record microscopic observations over the past twelve years. They show us what our daily lives would look like if we had the opportunity to observe the smallest processes in our environment.
The video by biologist Dylan T. Burnett of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, USA, shows dying melanoma cells – cancerous cells. With these photos, he came fourth in the competition.
This film is directed by Ahmet Karabulut, a molecular biologist at the Gibson Laboratory in Kansas City, USA. This is where the neurons and stinging cells of the anemone communicate with each other. The video took third place.
French neuroscientist Christophe Lettier took second place. His video shows a 12-hour recording time-lapse of cultured monkey cells. The DNA is blue and the cell membrane is orange.
And here’s the winning video: it impressively shows what’s possible in research today. Here the cellular processes within the zebrafish embryo become visible. Argentine researcher Eduardo Zatara used fluorescence to distinguish different cells.
“In my research, I am particularly interested in how the ability to evolve produces evolutionary pathways and ecological outcomes. Although I like to include all dimensions of life, I focus primarily on living organisms to understand biological systems,” says the winner.
Excellent videos showing how accurate recordings are being made in research today. These are amazing shots that illustrate the cinematic craft and the researchers’ curiosity for their work.