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Winners of 2022 ZEISS Microscopy Image Contest Announced
Researchers Submitted Microscopy Images from Various Application Areas
ZEISS has unveiled the five winners of their 2022 ZEISS Microscopy Image Contest. For the second time, ZEISS is celebrating the work of researchers using microscopy in various application fields with an image contest. Microscope systems, analytics, and imaging capabilities play a central role in enabling us to meet the critical challenges we face as a society related to climate change, energy, health, and food.
This year, external jury members were also involved in the judging process. Five scientists with different microscopy backgrounds voted for their favorite images in the different categories – among the members one of last year’s winners: “Being awarded third place in last year’s image contest, it has been both an honor and a great experience to serve as part of the jury in this year’s contest. I was overwhelmed by the quality and variety of the images. I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the prize-winners of the 2022 ZEISS Microscopy Image Contest,” says Dr. Bernardo Cesare, Professor of Petrology at the University of Padua, Italy.
This year’s winning image in the category of Life Sciences shows “Oral bacteria” – tongue epithelial cells adjoined by several different species of bacteria which form a complex biofilm on the tongue’s surface. The sample has been stained with DAPI, acridine orange and calcofluor white and was acquired with the ZEISS LSM 900 confocal microscope with Airyscan detector. Dr. Tagide deCarvalho, Director of the Keith R. Porter Imaging Facility at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (USA), submitted the image. “In addition to the microscopy imaging I perform for scientific collaborations and research studies, I take my own microscopy images from samples that I find in my personal environment, such as moldy fruit from my home refrigerator or moss growing on the side of the Biological Sciences building that I walk past on the way to one of my labs”, explains deCarvalho her inspiration for this sample.
The winner in the category of Materials Science is the image “Zinc sulfide semiconductor nanoparticles”, acquired with a ZEISS LSM 780 confocal microscope. It shows the nanostructure of ZnS (zinc sulfide) for which Dr. Ümit Bayram from the Central Research Facility at Abdullah Gül University in Kayseri (Turkey) who submitted the image has studied the photocatalytic properties. “The goal with this imaging is to show that nanomaterials with a desired nano size and large surface area have been successfully synthesized and to characterize them accurately”, Bayram emphasizes the quality of the image. “At first glance, this image gave me the feeling of "the first picture of an undiscovered planet taken from space”, he recounts.
The image “Microfossil of radiolarian for micropaleontology”, acquired with a ZEISS GeminiSEM 300 scanning electron microscope, wins in the category of Geosciences & Natural Resources. Dr. Sebastien Colin from the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tuebingen (Germany) submitted the image. The diversity of modern marine unicellular eukaryotes, the dynamic of their populations and their complex interaction networks are still poorly understood – yet they are responsible for a significant part of the Earth’s biogeochemistry. “Using a microscope to reveal the exquisite beauty of ancient radiolarians that were floating in the ocean tens to hundreds of thousands of years before the invention of optical sectioning fascinates me”, says Colin.
Vitamin C Crystals
The winner in the category of Education is the image “Vitamin C crystals”, acquired with a ZEISS Axio Scope.A1 light microscope. Dr. Robert Berdan from Science & Art Multimedia, based in Calgary (Canada) submitted the image. “Sometimes vitamin C crystals form in large sheets and other times the crystals are isolated and can appear star-shaped and sun-like“, he describes one of his favorite samples. Vitamin C, when dissolved in water and ethanol and then dried on a microscope slide, often forms large, beautiful crystals that can be viewed with polarized light microscopy. “I have been fascinated with microscopes, photography and single-celled organisms since I was a teenager. Most of my photomicrographs are now used for education”, summarizes Berdan.
The image “Head of mosquito larva”, acquired with a ZEISS Axiostar light microscope is the winner in the category Microscopy as a Hobby. Hong Lin from Foshan City, Guangdong (China), submitted the image. His work focuses on the diversity of aquatic microorganisms in river waters. The sample is taken from a mosquito larva in the Pearl River in Guangzhou. “I am very happy to have taken this photograph, which illustrates the tracheal distribution of the thorax and head of a mosquito larva. And I think it is a successful attempt to combine science and art”, describes Lin his success.
About the Contest
The 2022 ZEISS Microscopy Image Contest was open to submissions in nine categories from April 1 to May 15. Three categories had too few submissions to make an evaluation, while two categories were combined to one. In total, five winners were nominated and will receive their prizes shortly. A selection of the images can be viewed here and will be included in the ZEISS Microscopy Calendar 2023.