Life is beautiful at all scales, from big to small. Sometimes that splendor is concealed beneath literal scales.
A mesmerizing peek below the developing scales on the hand of an embryonic Madagascar giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis) won first place in the 2022 Nikon Small World photomicrography competition. The winning image, stitched together from hundreds of images taken over two days with a confocal microscope, was crafted by University of Geneva researchers Grigorii Timin and Michel Milinkovitch. The pair study the genetics and physics of embryonic development.
The hand is artificially colored to show budding nerves in cyan and structures containing collagen in a range of oranges and yellows.
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