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December 24th, 2010
01:32 PM ET

Life Through a Lens

Is it an ECG monitor? Is it an especially spindly cantilever bridge? Is it one of those weird sea creatures that you can never remember the name of?

Well, no. It's none of the above. This image does in fact depict the heart of a mosquito, magnified 100 times over and aided by fluorescence technology. The shot – taken by Vanderbilt University's Jonas King – was awarded first prize in the 2010 Nikon Small World Photomicography Competition. And a worthy winner it is too.

By looking this closely into the biting beast's insides, King has aided life scientists in the study of malaria. As Nikon puts it, the photo "provides insight into how mosquitoes move blood to all regions of their bodies". So it's not just striking; it could be a lifesaver.

Fancy getting involved in the world of photomicography? Well, beware. Taking pictures of tiny things entails a mighty price-tag. But watch News Stream's segment on the Small World phenomenon, and we're sure you'll be inspired nonetheless.

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