Science exposed in all its glory

Mike Exon looks at a collection of award-winning photos that get under the skin of scientific processes

4 Magnetic field

The winning photograph in the Close-up category was achieved by placing a crystal of iron in a tiny tube of carbon. Shown here in yellow, the crystal acts like a small bar magnet. The resulting magnetic field was revealed using electron holography. It was taken with a transmission electron microscope by Dr Rafal Dunin-Borkowski.

5 Growth cones

Dr David Becker’s magnified image of living cells moving themselves around by extending growth cones won first prize in the Action category. The cells can be seen probing their environment and interacting with other cells. Becker’s image captures the distinct areas within the cells: the blue nucleus contains the cells’ DNA; the green structural protein that moves things around inside the cell; and the red contractile protein that enables a cell to move. The shot was taken with a confocal microscope.

6 Operating on a Romanian baby

Gary Roberts’ set of six 35mm pictures of operations won the People category. The pictures are of British surgeon Oliver Fention, who travels to Romania every year to correct deformities in babies. These vivid images range from an operation on a cleft lip (pictured) to operations on a patient’s hand and children before and after surgery.

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