Back in 1975, Nikon launched a competition for true photography enthusiasts called “Small World”, and eight years ago it received a new nomination “Nikon Small World in Motion”. The stake was made on the search by the participants of the competition for such phenomena that cannot be seen in ordinary life. And this year's winners have surpassed the most ambitious expectations of the organizers by presenting an excellent visualization of important scientific phenomena.
First place went to a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who are studying how genome editing affects the development of sensory neurons. They took real living cells of the aquarium zebrafish as a model and showed how neurons grow, move, search for each other and form a complex, effective interweaving - the future nervous system of the fish. They managed to pack almost 16 hours of real time into a stunning 40-second video.
The second place was taken by engineers from the Israeli Institute of Technology Technion. They "fired" a laser through the soap film and filmed a bizarre, even psychedelic video with intertwining spots and rays. In fact, this is a great demonstration of how light makes its way through the complex structure of a soap film, and that the laser does not burn through it, but interacts with it according to the laws of physics.
In third place is an almost finished scene for a horror movie. Yes, it is alive, but what do you think - what is this creature doing? Correct answer: digests food. But why this polychaete worm needs to fiddle with its dorsal blood vessel for this purpose, only a specialist biologist will answer. However, the judges of the competition were impressed by what they saw without knowing such details.