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Wellcome Image Awards 2015 Winners

18 Mar, 2015

WI-6070.31 WIA15_holding slide

“Fascinating, sad, macabre… also delicate, detailed and beautiful” – just some of the words used to describe the overall winner in the Wellcome Image Awards 2015. Announced at at ceremony at Wellcome Trust HQ this evening, Michael Frank’s image of a pregnant pony’s uterus took the top prize. Here we share the full collection of winning images…

“As far as standout images go, the image of the horse’s uterus with the fetus still inside was incredible, and just sticks in my mind,” said James Cutmore, Picture Editor of BBC Focus magazine and one of the judges of this year’s awards. “It evokes many different emotions at once.”

Pregnant pony uterus – Michael Frank, Royal Veterinary College

Pregnant pony uterus - Michael Frank, Royal Veterinary College

Pregnant pony uterus – Michael Frank, Royal Veterinary College

The photograph shows the uterus of a pregnant New Forest pony. Approximately five months into the pregnancy, the developing pony is outside the uterus, but remains attached by its membranes and umbilical cord. This is a historical specimen from a culled animal that happened to be pregnant at the time. It is preserved in formalin at the Anatomy Museum of the Royal Veterinary College.

Goat stomach chamber – Michael Frank, Royal Veterinary College

Goat stomach chamber - Michael Frank, Royal Veterinary College

Goat stomach chamber – Michael Frank, Royal Veterinary College

You may be aware that cows have a number of stomach chambers, but did you know the same is true for sheep and goats? This second winning image by Michael Frank shows the second of four stomach chambers (the reticulum) of a goat. The inside of the reticulum forms a honeycomb pattern, which is home to the bacteria that help break down food.

Boll weevil – Daniel Kariko

Boll weevil - Daniel Kariko

Boll weevil – Daniel Kariko

Looking like something you might expect in a Star Wars film, this image shows the head of a boll weevil under a scanning electron microscope. The boll weevil has a long curved snout, but don’t be deceived by the apparent friendly demeanour in this portrait – boll weevils can destroy entire cotton crops, despite only being 6-8 mm long .

Immune cell detects disease – N Dieckmann and N Lawrence, University of Cambridge

Immune cell detects disease - N Dieckmann and N Lawrence, University of Cambridge

Immune cell detects disease – N Dieckmann and N Lawrence, University of Cambridge

This super-resolution micrograph shows a natural killer cell (left) examining a second cell for signs of disease (right). Natural killer cells are part of the immune system and can recognise and destroy infected or cancerous cells by releasing toxic chemicals that cause them to self-destruct.

Cat tongue – David Linstead

Cat tongue - David Linstead

Cat tongue – David Linstead

Have you ever been licked by a cat? Then you’ll be familiar with the rough sandpaper texture of cats’ tongues. This polarised light micrograph shows a cross-section through part of a cat’s tongue – with the round bumps (papillae) that are responsible for that scratchy texture visible. The photographer, a retired scientist, exercises his passion for microscopy by looking at classic Victorian slides (such as this sample) with a new perspective.

Tuatara skeleton – Sophie Regnault

Tuatara skeleton - Sophie Regnault

Tuatara skeleton – Sophie Regnault

This micro-CT scan shows the skull and front legs of a tuatara – a rare species of reptile found only on certain offshore islands of New Zealand. These mid-sized reptiles are all that is left of an ancient group of animals that shared the Earth with the dinosaurs. These creatures get their name from the Maori word meaning ‘spiny back’, reflecting the presence of spines along the animal’s neck, back and tail.

Curvature of the spine – Mark Bartley, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Curvature of the spine - Mark Bartley, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Curvature of the spine – Mark Bartley, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Are you sitting comfortably? How is your posture? This photograph of a 79-year-old woman’s back shows an abnormally curved spine. Known as kyphosis, or ‘dowager’s hump’, the upper back and shoulders are rounded forwards. Although kyphosis can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen in elderly women and may be caused by a range of things including poor posture, injury, osteoporosis, cancer and cancer treatments, infection, a birth defect, and degenerative or endocrine diseases.

Delivering medicine to the lungs – Gregory Szeto, Adelaide Tovar and Jeffrey Wyckoff, Koch Institute, copyright MIT

Delivering medicine to the lungs - Gregory Szeto, Adelaide Tovar and Jeffrey Wyckoff, Koch Institute, copyright MIT

Delivering medicine to the lungs – Gregory Szeto, Adelaide Tovar and Jeffrey Wyckoff, Koch Institute, copyright MIT

This confocal micrograph shows microparticles (pink) on a set of mouse lungs. The microparticles can carry medicines, and are being studied to see whether they can deliver these drugs to the lungs. Current anticancer therapies have many toxic side-effects, so researchers hope that these microparticles could one day deliver anticancer medicine in a much simpler, more targeted way – for example, in an inhaler – with fewer side-effects.

3D-printed lungs in ribcage – Dave Farnham

http://www.wellcomeimageawards.org/2015/delivering-medicine-to-the-lungs

3D-printed lungs in ribcage – Dave Farnham

Photograph of 3D-printed human lungs inside their ribcage. This image shows a 3D-printed copy of the lungs and ribcage belonging to a patient called Caroline, diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Two-dimensional images from CT scans were converted into a 3D computer model by the artist, who was then able to print a 3D copy.

Mouse brain – Luis de la Torre-Ubieta, Geschwind Laboratory, UCLA

Mouse brain - Luis de la Torre-Ubieta, Geschwind Laboratory, UCLA

Mouse brain – Luis de la Torre-Ubieta, Geschwind Laboratory, UCLA

This micrograph of nerve cells inside a section of adult mouse brain wouldn’t look out of place on the wall of an art gallery. The brain has been sliced into thin sections, with one of the pieces seen here. After being sliced, it was chemically treated to make the tissue transparent so that structures deep inside could be more easily seen. This technique is being used to map the complex wiring of whole brains.

Mapping brain wiring – Dr Flavio Dell’Acqua

Mapping brain wiring - Dr Flavio Dell’Acqua

Mapping brain wiring – Dr Flavio Dell’Acqua

This picture shows bundles of nerve fibres inside a healthy adult living human brain, captured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI was used to virtually slice the brain into left and right halves – the front of the head faces the left side of the image. Information on the network of connections was collected by a type of MRI (diffusion imaging) that tracks the movement of water molecules.

Fruit-fly nervous system – Albert Cardona, HHMI Janelia Research Campus

Fruit-fly nervous system - Albert Cardona, HHMI Janelia Research Campus

Fruit-fly nervous system – Albert Cardona, HHMI Janelia Research Campus

An organism’s nervous system controls everything it does, from breathing and moving to thinking and feeling. Reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock painting, this image shows part of the central nervous system of a fruit fly (D. melanogaster). Transmission electron micrographs were used to create a digital colour-coded map of the area.

Delivering medicine to the brain – Khuloud T Al-Jamal, Serene Tay and Michael Cicirko

Delivering medicine to the brain - Khuloud T Al-Jamal, Serene Tay and Michael Cicirko

Delivering medicine to the brain – Khuloud T Al-Jamal, Serene Tay and Michael Cicirko

A single brain cell (coloured green and pink) with a rectangular cut enabling observation of how tiny, nanometre-sized carbon nanotubes (coloured red and brown) interact with its surface. These nano-sized cylinders are made of carbon atoms, and are being researched for their ability to act as carriers to deliver drugs or genes to cells – for example, anticancer medicines to a tumour.

Old anatomy model – Anthony Edwards, St James’s Hospital, Dublin

Old anatomy model - Anthony Edwards, St James’s Hospital, Dublin

Old anatomy model – Anthony Edwards, St James’s Hospital, Dublin

Old anatomical models like these provide a way for people to look under the skin and see what’s below. Often used to educate students or explain medical procedures to patients, they have varying levels of detail – some have removable parts, to show how things fit together. This particular model was about to be thrown away when the photographer rescued it to take one last photograph to honour the service it had provided to medical students at Trinity College Dublin.

Children’s multi-sensory unit – Geraldine Thompson, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Children’s multi-sensory unit - Geraldine Thompson, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Children’s multi-sensory unit – Geraldine Thompson, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Photograph of an interactive multi-sensory unit used to distract and comfort anxious children receiving treatment in hospital. It can provide a relaxing environment while stimulating different senses. For example, patients can watch colours change in the bubble tube while touching the outside to feel it gently vibrate. Multi-sensory stimulation can also help people with learning disabilities, autism and dementia.

Chemical reactions in the kidney – Jefferson R Brown, Robert E Marc, Bryan W Jones, Glen Prusky and Nazia Alam

Chemical reactions in the kidney - Jefferson R Brown, Robert E Marc, Bryan W Jones, Glen Prusky and Nazia Alam

Chemical reactions in the kidney – Jefferson R Brown, Robert E Marc, Bryan W Jones, Glen Prusky and Nazia Alam

Colour-coded map of part of a mouse kidney as it metabolises food. Three small molecules – the amino acids aspartate and glutamine, and the antioxidant glutathione – produced by the metabolic processes are visible (coloured red, blue and green, respectively). The brighter the colour, the more of that molecule there is in the cell. This image was created using a technique called computational molecular phenotyping and shows how metabolism can vary between cells in the same organ at a given point in time.

Newly discovered parasitoid wasp – Andrew Polaszek, Natural History Museum

Newly discovered parasitoid wasp - Andrew Polaszek, Natural History Museum

Newly discovered parasitoid wasp – Andrew Polaszek, Natural History Museum

This image shows a new genus of parasitoid wasp that was recently discovered in the rainforests of Borneo – a single female wasp was found mixed in with thousands of other insects. This tiny parasitic wasp – only 0.75 mm in length – lays its eggs inside other insects, then after hatching, the larvae feed on their host, eating it alive from the inside out.

Pollen grains – Maurizio De Angelis

Illustration of pollen grains being released from a flower in the Asteraceae family – is one of the largest families of flowering plants – commonly known as the aster, daisy, sunflower or composite family. Pollen grains come in all shapes and sizes, but they are usually between 0.01 and 0.1 mm in size.

Greenfly eye – Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen

Greenfly eye - Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen

Greenfly eye – Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen

Not an octopus, but a scanning electron micrograph of a eye of a greenfly. Aphids have a pair of curved compound eyes that bulge out of the head and have a wide angle of view. These are made up of thousands of repeating units known as ‘ommatidia’, each with a tiny lens on the front surface, working together to produce a mosaic image. This allows the fly to see very quick movements, but not fine details or objects that are far away.

Purkinje cell – Professor M Häusser, Sarah Rieubland and Arnd Roth, UCL

Purkinje cell - Professor M Häusser, Sarah Rieubland and Arnd Roth, UCL

Purkinje cell – Professor M Häusser, Sarah Rieubland and Arnd Roth, UCL

This stunning image looks like coral, but is actually an electron micrograph of part of a particular type of nerve cell found in the brain called a Purkinje cell. The finger-like projections in this elaborate network act like tiny sensors, picking up information and passing on messages to help control and coordinate muscle movement. This one is from the cerebellar cortex of a rat brain, and in order to see the dendritic tree, the Purkinje cell was filled with a visual marker before being imaged.

If you want to get up close to these images, you can visit one of the exhibitions of the winners at 11 science centres, museums and galleries, around the country. From the Eden Project in Cornwall to Satrosphere in Aberdeen, and as far afield as the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, USA – read more about this year’s participating venues on the image awards website.

 

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