Photo winners of the 2023 Nikon Small World Contest

Here’s what the human eye can’t see under the magnification of a microscope: caffeine crystals like a paper mosaic flower; a mouse embryo with open jaws and spiny spine reminiscent of a mini-dinosaur skeleton; Crystallized sugar syrup mimics an unruly stack of blue and white paper.

Since it opened for photo submissions in 1974, The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition The hidden (to us) world of nature has presented cells, minerals and more in mesmerizing detail. This year, around 1,900 photos from 72 countries were submitted and then judged by five experts in both photography and science.

Photographs are not just colorful works of art. In some cases, they help to understand a disease. For example, the best award for the year 2023 was received Hassanein Kambari, Jayden Dixon of the Lion’s Eye Institute in Perth, Australia, assisted with microscopic imaging of the rodent optic nerve head. For the past few years, Gambari has focused his research on diabetic retinopathy, a disease that can cause blurred vision or blindness and affects 1 in 5 people with diabetes.

“Current diagnostic criteria and treatment methods for diabetic retinopathy are limited to late onset of the disease, with irreversible damage to retinal microvasculature and function,” Campari said in a news release. He hopes his film will help in early detection and modification of the disease.

Second place winner Ole Bielefeld captured the moment A competitive edge, strikes across the matchbox and starts igniting. Malgorzata Lisowska’s third place is deceptively beautiful Photograph Breast cancer cells.

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