A visceral photograph of a living human brain taken by Robert Ludlow of the University College London’s Institute of Neurology took home top honors in this year’s Wellcome Image Awards competition.
“This is a remarkable image of a human brain. What makes it so different from most images of the surface of the brain is that this organ is living — this is a brain as it is encountered during neurosurgery,” said Alice Roberts, a member of the judging panel and professor of public engagement in science at the University of Birmingham.
Other images that made it into the competition’s “sweet 16” include a confocal micrograph of an African clawed frog oocytes, a composite confocal micrograph of a HeLa cell undergoing cell division, and a fluorescence micrograph of the vascular system of a developing chicken embryo.
A judging panel selected these images from those acquired by the Wellcome Collection image library during the past 18 months. These images were recognized not only for their visual appeal but also for their technical merit and their ability to convey a fascination with science.
2012 Wellcome Image Award Winners Gallery
View the winning images from this year's competition here:
- Lavender Leaf
- Xenopus laevis Oocytes
- Cell Division
- Arabidopsis Thaliana Seedling
- Caffeine Crystals
- Chicken Embryo Vascular System
- Cancer Cells in Motion
- Intracranial recording for epilepsy - Overall Winner
- Moth Fly
- Diatom Frustule
- Repair of Ventricular Septal Defect
- Bacteria Biofilm
- Loperamide Crystals
- Microneedle Vaccine
- Desmid Algae
- Connective Tissue
Lavender Leaf (1/16)
Annie Cavanagh and David McCarthy
This false-coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) shows a lavender leaf (Lavandula) imaged at 200 microns. Lavender, which is native to the Mediterranean region, is an evergreen shrub that grows to about three feet high and has small blue or purple flowers and narrow grey leaves. Lavender yields an essential oil with sweet overtones, which can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics and topical applications. It is also used to aid sleep, to relax and to alleviate anxiety.