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Ralph Claus Grimm
Ralph Claus Grimm

Eye of a Honeybee Wins Microscope Photography Competition

Ralph Claus Grimm
Ralph Claus Grimm

The eye of a honeybee dusted with pollen, the colon of a mouse colonized with human microbiota, and a human mammary gland organoid grown in the lab are among the top five winning images in Nikon's Small World photomicrography competition. Now in its 41st year, the competition highlights photos taken under the microscope, often by science researchers working in a range of disciplines.

Out of 2000 entries drawn from 83 countries, the four judges—two scientists, a science journalist, and a photo editor at a popular science magazine—chose Ralph Grimm's honeybee eye for the top prize. Grimm is an Australian high school teacher, self-taught photomicrographer, and former beekeeper. It took him four hours to mount, light, and photograph the eye of Apis mellifera, which is magnified 120 times. 

Here are some of our favorite photos (not all are from the top five!), which were shot using a range of techniques, including confocal microscopy, differential interference contrast, and reflected light (Grimm's choice). You can see dozens more in the online gallery of winning pictures. 

3rd Place: Intake of a humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba), a freshwater carnivorous plant (100x). Winner: Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Janelia Farm Research Campus, Leonardo Lab, Ashburn, VA.

4th Place: Lab-grown human mammary gland organoid (100x). Winners: Daniel H. Miller & Ethan S. Sokol, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Biology Cambridge, Mass.

8th Place: Nerves and blood vessels in a mouse ear skin (10x). Winner: Dr. Tomoko Yamazaki, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD.

16th place: Feeding rotifers (Floscularia ringens) (50x). Winner: Charles B. Krebs, Charles Krebs Photography, Issaquah, WA.

18th place: Hairyback worm (Chaetonotus sp.) and algae (Micrasterias sp.) (400x). Winner: Roland Gross, Gruenen, Bern, Switzerland

Honorable mention: Detail of jewel beetle (Coleoptera Buprestidae) (32x). Winner: Dr. Luca Toledano, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Verona, Verona, Italy
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The Strange Reason Why It's Illegal to Take Nighttime Photos of the Eiffel Tower
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The Eiffel Tower is one of the most-photographed landmarks on Earth, but if photographers aren't careful, snapping a picture of the Parisian tower at the wrong hour and sharing it in the wrong context could get them in legal trouble. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the famous monument is partially protected under European copyright law.

In Europe, copyrights for structures like the Eiffel Tower expire 70 years after the creator's death. Gustave Eiffel died in 1923, which means the tower itself has been public domain since 1993. Tourists and professional photographers alike are free to publish and sell pictures of the tower taken during the day, but its copyright status gets a little more complicated after sundown.

The Eiffel Tower today is more than just the iron structure that was erected in the late 19th century: In 1985, it was outfitted with a nighttime lighting system consisting of hundreds of projectors, a beacon, and tens of thousands of light bulbs that twinkle every hour on the hour. The dazzling light show was designed by Pierre Bideau, and because the artist is alive, the copyright is still recognized and will remain so for at least several decades.

That being said, taking a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower after dark and sharing it on Instagram won't earn you a visit from Interpol. The law mainly applies to photographers taking pictures for commercial gain. To make sure any pictures you take of the illuminated tower fall within the law, you can contact the site's operating company to request publishing permission and pay for rights. Or you can wait until the sun comes up to snap as many perfectly legal images of the Parisian icon as you please.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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Scientists Share the Most Ridiculous Stock Photos of Their Jobs on Twitter
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If you picture a scientist as a guy in a white lab coat who spends all day glaring at vials, you can blame popular media. A quick image search of the word scientist brings up dozens of stock photos that fit this stereotype. And when photos do diverge from the norm, things start to get weird. Now real-life scientists are sharing some of these bizarre depictions on Twitter using the hashtag #badstockphotosofmyjob.

Some stock photos contain errors that would go unnoticed by most members of the public. But show a professional a model posing with a beaker of dyed water, or a backwards double-helix, and they might have something to say.

Despite all the lab gear, safety rules are apparently broken all the time in stock photo world. On rare occasions fake scientists ditch the lab coats altogether for lingerie—or nothing at all.

Even more puzzling scientist stock photo trends include injecting plants with mysterious liquid and holding stethoscopes up to inanimate objects.

Fortunately, scientists from the real world are much better at their jobs than scientists in stock photos make them out to be. To get a clearer picture of how a scientist's job differs from the stereotype, check out some behind-the-scenes accounts of their work in the field.

[h/t IFL Science]

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