Developing Sensory Nervous System of a Zebrafish Wins 2018 Nikon Small World in Motion Competition

September 27, 2018

MELVILLE, N.Y., Sept. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nikon Instruments Inc. today unveiled the winners of the eighth annual Nikon Small World in Motion Photomicrography Competition. First place was awarded to Dr. Elizabeth Haynes and Jiaye “Henry” He for their video of a zebrafish embryo growing its elaborate sensory nervous system. The video reflects a time lapse of 16 hours and uses gentle light sheet technology to capture the whole zebrafish embryo in 3D, at a high temporal resolution. Dr. Haynes studies the role of kinesin light chain genes during the highly complex development of sensory neurons, while Mr. He specializes on developing microscopy technology to image living specimens at the best possible resolution.

“There are many kinesin light chain genes and their individual roles are poorly understood,” said Dr. Haynes. “If we can learn what changes in axon growth may occur when different kinesin light chain genes are perturbed, we can better understand their functions in the development of neurons, and their potential roles in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

To film the developing embryo, Dr. Haynes and Mr. He chose to let the zebrafish embryo grow in water, where it develops naturally inside their home-built microscope. This is a much more challenging approach as the specimen could easily move out of the field of view. The conventional technique of mounting the zebrafish in a block of gel restricts the growth of the embryo, which can impact the development of the neurons and result in a less accurate study.

“This year’s video represents exactly the kind of cutting edge scientific imaging we strive to showcase in the Nikon Small World in Motion competition,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments, “As microscope and imaging technologies advance, we are seeing scientifically relevant events better than ever before in visually beautiful detail.”

Dr. Haynes added, “I hope people see this video and understand how much we share with other organisms in terms of our development. A neuron is a neuron, and it’s really amazing how most of the time development goes right when so much could go wrong. There is so much art occurring within science and nature, and it’s really special to watch.”

This year’s second place winner moves from the biological world and into the physical one. Captured by Dr. Miguel A. Bandres, the video shows a laser propagating inside a soap membrane. The video uniquely captures a lot of physical phenomena, including the interference of light in the soap membrane, allowing the audience to see the variations in the thickness of the membrane as well as a beautiful pattern of colors.

In third place, what looks like a microbe playing a musical instrument is actually a polychaete worm digesting, captured by Mr. Rafael Martín-Ledo. The worm makes movements with its parapodes and its setae displace the dorsal blood vessel, raising intriguing biological questions about the association between the movements of the animal and its blood dynamics.In addition to top five winners, Nikon Small World in Motion recognized an additional eighteen entries.

The 2018 judging panel included:

-- Dr. Joseph Fetcho: Professor, Associate Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University. -- Dr. Tristan Ursell: Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and at the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Oregon. -- Adam Dunnakey: Broadcast journalist at CNN International. -- Jacob Templin: Senior video producer at Quartz. -- Eric Clark (Moderator): Research Coordinator and Applications Developer at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.

For additional information, please visit www.nikonsmallworld.com, or follow the conversation on Facebook, Twitter @NikonSmallWorld and Instagram @NikonInstruments.

NIKON SMALL WORLD IN MOTION WINNERS 1stDr. Elizabeth M. Haynes & Jiaye “Henry” HeUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Integrative Biology & Morgridge Institute for ResearchMadison, Wisconsin, USAZebrafish embryo growing its elaborate sensory nervous system (visualized over 16 hours of development)Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM) 10x (objective lens magnification)

2ndDr. Miguel A. Bandres & Anatoly PatsykTechnicon – Israel Institute of Technology Department of PhysicsHaifa, IsraelLaser propagating inside a soap membraneReflected Light Epi-Illumination2x, 5x (objective lens magnification)

3rd Rafael Martín-LedoConserjería Educación Gobierno de CantabriaSantander, Cantabria, SpainPolychaete worm of the Syllidae familyDifferential Interference Contrast (DIC)20x, 40x (objective lens magnification)

4thDr. Wim van EgmondMicropolitan MuseumBerkel en Rodenrijs, The NetherlandsDaphnia water flea giving birthDarkfield6x (objective lens magnification)

5th Dr. Jia Chao WangNational Institutes of Health (NIH) Cell Biology and Physiology Center, National Heart, Lung and Blood InstituteBethesda, Maryland, USAThe dynamics of the actin cell skeleton in a mouse B lymphocyte after it has been activatedStructured Illumination Microscopy coupled with Total Internal Reflection60x (objective lens magnification)

Honorable MentionsGüray DereIstanbul, TurkeyStinkbug (shieldbug) eggs hatchingReflected Light5x (objective lens magnification)Dr. Fernan Federici, Daniel Nuñez, Tamara Matute, Isaac Nuñez, Juan Keymer, Janneke Noorlag, Leslie Garcia & Paloma LopezPontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Genetica Molecular & MicrobiologiaSantiago, ChilePaenibacillus bacteria collective motility on solid mediaTransmitted Light4x (objective lens magnification)

Frank FoxTrier University of Applied SciencesKonz, Rheinland-Pfalz, GermanyMicrostomum lineare (aquatic worm)Darkfield, Transmitted Light10x (objective lens magnification)

Frank FoxTrier University of Applied SciencesKonz, Rheinland-Pfalz, GermanyGreen Stentor coeruleus and VorticellaInterference Contrast 25x (objective lens magnification)

Ralph Claus GrimmJimboomba, Queensland, AustraliaOscillatoria (filamentous cyanobacteria)Differential Interference Contrast (DIC)10x, 40x (objective lens magnification)

Thomas E. JonesExplore MicroscopyCrestline, California, USAStephanoceros fimbriatus (rotifer) feedingDifferential Interference Contrast (DIC)10x, 20x (objective lens magnification)

Charles KrebsCharles Krebs PhotographyIssaquah, Washington, USANitella sp. (green algae), cytoplasmic streamingBrightfield, Differential Interference Contrast (DIC)5x, 10x, 40x (objective lens magnification)

Dr. Philippe P. LaissueUniversity of Essex, School of Biological SciencesColchester, Essex, United KingdomPolyps of a reef-building staghorn coral (coral tissue is green, the algae inside it orange)Differential Interference Contrast (DIC), Autofluorescence, Focus Stacking4x (objective lens magnification)

Dr. Aleksandra MandicEPFL École Polytechnique Fédérale de LausanneLausanne, Vaud, SwitzerlandMonolayer of mouse pre-adipocytes imaged over 48 hours (1 image per minute)Holotomography60x (objective lens magnification)

Rafael Martín-LedoConserjería Educación Gobierno de CantabriaSantander, Cantabria, SpainOpechona sp. (fluke) larvaDifferential Interference Contrast (DIC)10x (objective lens magnification)

Rafael Martín-LedoConserjería Educación Gobierno de CantabriaSantander, Cantabria, SpainZoothamnium pelagicum (marine ciliate)Differential Interference Contrast (DIC), Phase Contrast10x, 20x (objective lens magnification)

Dr. Tessa MontagueHarvard University, Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyCambridge, Massachusetts, USAXenopus laevis (African clawed frog) egg recently fertilized by sperm (sped up ~10x)Brightfield

Wojtek PlonkaKrakow, Malopolskie, PolandSoy sauce evaporatingBrightfield4x (objective lens magnification)

Dr. Adolfo Ruiz de SegoviaMadrid, SpainPocket watch mechanismReflected Light4x (objective lens magnification)

Dr. Shinji ShimodeYokohama National University, Manazuru Marine CenterManazuru-machi, Kanagawa, JapanOratosquilla oratorio (Japanese mantis shrimp) larvaTransmitted Light, Relief Illumination4x-6x (objective lens magnification)

Bill ShinNational Institutes of Health (NIH)Bethesda, Maryland, USAChromatophores (pigment-containing and light-reflecting cells) in squid mantleBrightfield4x (objective lens magnification)

Dr. Jeffrey A.J. van HarenUCSF, Wittmann LabDepartment of Cell and Tissue BiologySan Francisco, California, USALabeling of the microtubule cytoskeleton in a human cell lineSpinning Disk Confocal60x (objective lens magnification)

Dr. Bruno VellutiniMax Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and GeneticsDresden, Saxony, GermanyFruit fly embryo viewed from four anglesLight Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy20x (objective lens magnification)

Philippe VerwaerdeSantes, FranceSpirostomum ambiguum, Frontonia leucas and Dexiotricha granulosa (ciliate protozoa)Differential Interference Contrast (DIC)25x (objective lens magnification)

Sixian You, Dr. Stephen A. Boppart, Dr. Haohua Tu, & Eric J. ChaneyAffiliation University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of BioengineeringUrbana, Illinois, USALeukocyte (white blood cell) swarming near tumor siteSimultaneous label-free autofluorescence-multiharmonic (SLAM) microscopy40x (objective lens magnification)

Teresa ZgodaCampbell Hall, New York, USALight refracted by cilia on ctenophores (comb jellies)Stereomicroscopy5x-30x (objective lens magnification)

About Nikon Small World Photomicrography CompetitionThe Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition is open to anyone with an interest in photography or video. Participants may upload digital images and videos directly at www.nikonsmallworld.com. For additional information, contact Nikon Small World, Nikon Instruments Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Road, Melville, NY 11747, USA or phone (631) 547-8569. Entry forms for Nikon’s 2019 Small World and Small World in Motion Competitions are available at www.nikonsmallworld.com.

About Nikon Instruments Inc.Nikon Instruments Inc. is a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical applications. Nikon provides complete optical systems that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Cutting-edge instruments include microscopes, digital imaging products and software. Nikon Instruments is one of the microscopy and digital imaging arms of Nikon Inc., the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology. For more information, visit www.nikoninstruments.com. Product-related inquiries may be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.

Media ContactKristina Corso212-931-6189 kcorso@peppercomm.com

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