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Beauty found under the microscope

Click through the top images from the 2012 Olympus BioScapes International Digital Imaging Competition, which features microscopic images of life science subjects

Who would have thought so many wonders could fit in so small a space? Igor Siwanowicz used confocal microscopy, and some skillful staining, to bring out lots of colorful detail in this cluster of spore-filled structures known as sporangia. The microscopic material comes from a type of fern commonly found on the U.S. East Coast. This is just one of the winning photos from this year's Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition, which highlights great views of microscopic life-science subjects. Click through the slideshow to see more of the winners, and check out my report on Cosmic Log for the story behind the pictures.