Every year we are amazed by the Nikon Small World winners, and this year is no different. Grigorii Timin has taken top prize in 2022 for his image of an embryonic gecko's hand, painstakingly merging hundreds of images together to form one striking photograph.

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Second place was awarded to Dr Caleb Dawson for his image of breast tissue showing contractile myoepithelial cells wrapped around milk-producing alveoli. Third place went to Satu Paavonsalo and Dr Sinem Karaman for their intricate image of blood vessel networks in the intestine of an adult mouse.

Other highlights in this year's batch include a burning candle close-up, mouse blood vessels and a fly being savagely crushed by a tiger beetle.
The Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography or video. The awards have been championing the best microscopic imagery for nearly 50 years.

Overall winner

A embryonic hand of a gecko under a microscope
Embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko ( Phelsuma grandis). The cyan areas are nerves, and the bones, tendons, ligaments, skin and blood cells are shown in a range of warmer colours. This embryonic hand is about 3mm in length. Photographed at 63x magnification. Photo by Grigorii Timin & Dr Michel Milinkovitch/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Second place

Breast alveoli in lactation under microscope
Human breast tissue showing contractile myoepithelial cells wrapped around milk-producing alveoli. Photographed at 40x magnification. Photo by Dr Caleb Dawson/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Third place

Blood vessel network of a mouse intestine
Blood vessel network of a mouse intestine. Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Satu Paavonsalo & Dr Sinem Karaman/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Fourth place

daddy long-legs spider
Long-bodied cellar, or daddy long-legs spider ( Pholcus phalangioides). Photographed at 3x magnification. Photo by Dr Andrew Posselt/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Fifth place

Lamproderma slime mould
Slime mould ( Lamproderma). Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Alison Pollack/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Sixth place

Close-up of candle wick
Unburned particles of carbon released when the hydrocarbon chain of candle wax breaks down. Photographed at 2.5x magnification. Photo by Ole Bielfeldt/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Seventh place

Human neurons derived from neural stem cells (NSCs). Photographed at 20x magnification. Photo by Dr Jianqun Gao & Prof Glenda Halliday/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Eighth place

Red Algae under the microscope
Growing tip of a red algae ( Rhodophyta). Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Dr Nathanaël Prunet/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Ninth place

LCD made to look like a man in uniform
A liquid crystal mixture that resembles a person wearing a uniform. Photographed at 40x magnification. Photo by Dr Marek Sutkowski/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Tenth place

A fly under the chin of a tiger beetle. Photographed at 3.7x magnification. Photo by Murat Öztürk/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Eleventh place

Moth eggs under the microscope
An image of a stack of moth eggs. Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Ye Fei Zhang/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Twelfth place

A single coral polyp under the microscope
Autofluorescence of a single coral polyp (approximately 1mm). Photographed at 20x magnification. Photo by Brett M Lewis/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Thirteenth place

Dinosaur bone under a microscope
A remineralised dinosaur bone. Photographed at 60x magnification. Photo by Randy Fullbright/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Sixteenth place

Asparagus tips under microscope
Longitudinal section through a white asparagus shoot tip. Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Dr Oliver Leroux/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Honourable mention

A stacked image of a butterfly egg. Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Ye Fei Zhang/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Honourable mention

Tongue of a marine snail
A radula (rasping tongue) of a marine snail ( Turbinidae family). Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Dr Igor Siwanowicz/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Honourable mention

juvenile sea star under the microscope
Two-month-old juvenile sea star ( Patiria miniata). Photographed at 20x magnification. Photo by Dr Laurent Formery/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Honourable mention

Colourful slime mould
A colourful slime mould ( Didymium clavus). Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Alison Pollack/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Honourable mention

Cross section of young stem of garden bamboo ( Fargesia sp.). Photographed at 10x magnification. Photo by Gerd Günther/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

More images from Science Focus:

Images of Distinction

Mouse retina under the microscope
A microscopic image of a mouse retina. Photographed at 4x magnification. Photo by Dr Jason Hill/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Images of Distinction

Red jewel beetle microscope image
A red speckled jewel beetle ( Chrysochroa buqueti rugicollis). Photographed at 3x magnification. Photo by Yousef Al Habshi/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Images of Distinction

Lung cell with Coronavirus
A human lung cell infected with coronavirus. Photographed at 60x magnification. Photo by Dr Honor Glenn/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Images of Distinction

Winged ant trapped in amber
Winged ant encased in approximately 20 million-year-old Dominican amber. Photographed at 5x magnification. Photo by Enrico Bonino/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Images of Distinction

Dental drill under the microscope
A dental drill bit studded with diamond chips. Photographed at 4x magnification. Photo by Karl E Deckart/Nikon Small World Competition 2022

Take a look at previous Nikon Small World Competition winners:

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Authors

James CutmorePicture Editor, BBC Science Focus

James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs

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