Small World 2010 photomicrography winners

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Above is a mosquito heart, at a magnification of 100x. Biologist Jonas King, of Vanderbilt University, used fluorescence to make this stunning example of photomicrography. King's photo landed first place this year in Nikon's annual Small World competition. All of the winners are absolutely stunning. Small World gallery, 2010

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  1. 100x doesn’t mean much to me unless the image is meant to be viewed at a specific pixel size on a specific monitor size. The information below suggests the width of the image is about 2.5 segments of a mosquito abdomen, or about 2.5 mm.

    This Vanderbilt University press release explains more about the image:

    The mosquito’s body lies horizontally with its head to the left. The heart is the narrow tube that runs horizontally across the middle of the picture. […] The mosquito’s body consists of a series of segments and the [vertical muscles at the top and bottom of the image] are intersegmental muscles that hold the segments together.

    Wikipedia’s mosquito article says adult length “varies but is rarely greater than 16 mm”. If the mosquito diagram in that article is 16 mm from tip of probiscus to end of abdomen, then each segment is about 1 mm.

  2. D’oh. I meant the horizontal muscles at the top and bottom of the image. The press release says [emphasis mine] “the broad strips of muscle that run parallel to the heart are intersegmental muscles that hold the segments together” and the “vertical muscles at the top and bottom of the image wrap around the mosquito’s body and are called intrasegmental muscles”. I was confused and thought they were the same thing.

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