Nikon has announced the winners of their annual Small World Microphotgraphy competition. The top winner this year is Daniel Castranova, along with Dr. Brant M. Weinstein and Bakary Samasa of the National Institutes of Health for this image of a juvenile zebrafish with its organs highlighted with fluorescent tags. The lymphatic system is orange and the scales are blue.
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This image is particularly significant because it was taken as part of an imaging effort that helped Castranova’s team make a groundbreaking discovery – zebrafish have lymphatic vessels inside their skull that were previously thought to occur only in mammals. Their occurrence in fish, a much easier subject to raise, experiment with, and photograph, could expedite and revolutionize research related to treatments for diseases that occur in the human brain, including cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Castranova stitched together more than 350 individual images to create this single stunning visual. The image was acquired using a spinning disk confocal, merging together maximum intensity projections of three separate image Z stacks to generate the final reconstructed image.