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The beauty of microscopic photography art from the animal and human world.

Updated on September 11, 2013
 Filamentous actin and microtubules (structural proteins) in mouse fibroblasts (cells) (1000x), Fluorescence. /  The Scripps Research Institute.
Filamentous actin and microtubules (structural proteins) in mouse fibroblasts (cells) (1000x), Fluorescence. / The Scripps Research Institute. | Source
Snowflake micrograph, 1890.
Snowflake micrograph, 1890. | Source

What is the Micrography?

The micrography is the combination of Microscopic Science and Art. The beauty of this pictures is that we can see a much more different and amazing world in a microscopic scale, with this photos we can learn form insects, different types of bacteria, human and animal cells and much more, and now we can see in real life what we learned in the school science class.

There are three types of microscopic photos:

  • Photomicrograph: an optical light bulbed microscope attached with a regular camera in the oculars to take the photo of the interest tissue or sample. This type of photos are really simple and easy to take, you just need to wait for the right moment in samples with full motions, in dead and preserved samples you can "pose" for the camera. Depending in the quality and capacity of the microscope and the camera will be the quality and magnification of the image.
  • Electron micrograph: For this type of microscopic photography is necessary and electron microscope. This type can help us in taking a microscopic photo in great magnification and quality, and also we have the option to take photos in electron scales.
  • Digital micrograph: At some point before the camera, the scientist draw their discoveries at hand, being a necessary ability to make realistic images, now with the creation of the digital camera and the constant evolution in technology we can get a digital microscope, these type of microscope are now very common and really useful for this purpose, being really easy to use and instantly make a digital image of the sample. Now a day these microscopes use a USB port to be connected directly to the computer or laptop and making the process a lot more easy.

Heart of Anopheles gambiae (100x) - Vanderbilt University.
Heart of Anopheles gambiae (100x) - Vanderbilt University. | Source

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Uses in the world.

Now a day this pictures are used by scientist around the world for investigation is several branches of Science like:

  • Medical research: like heart tissue and brain cells, looking for tumors and how this react with several types of medicament, also how the cells work in our bodies.
  • Botany: The cells of a plant how these react with pesticide or several compounds, how the plants make some natural reactions in their system or how they transfer water around their system.
  • Biology: From the form of a hair, to the head of a mosquito or insect, to study the parts of several animals or to learn from the daily life of a bacteria in the water, blood, or controlled ambient.
  • Chemistry: More common in electron level, how this function and how they interact with each other.
  • Forensic science: To bring new evidence to the courts showing biological warfare or the usage of some type of weapon.

But sometimes this photos can be really good and unique pieces of art, very valuable and with some inner beauty. We can find several contests around the world with microscopic art, this kind of contests are taking a huge step and are being more popular each year, with more scientist, investigators and/or photographers in them. Nikon has an annual worldwide contest showing twenty microscopic pictures from different investigators and researchers.

Actually the cameras used in this kind of contest have the option to do the time-lapse, making it easier to take a good picture from a full mobile specimen or sample.

Portrait of a Green Iacewing (Chrysopa spec.) larva (20x)- Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology.
Portrait of a Green Iacewing (Chrysopa spec.) larva (20x)- Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. | Source
Blood vessels in the brain of a live zebrafish embryo (20x)- St Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Blood vessels in the brain of a live zebrafish embryo (20x)- St Jude Children's Research Hospital. | Source
 Muscoid fly (house fly) (6.25x)- Charles Krebs Photography.
Muscoid fly (house fly) (6.25x)- Charles Krebs Photography. | Source
Osteosarcoma cell (bone cancer) showing actin filaments (purple), mitochondria (yellow), and DNA (blue) in an U2OS cell (63x)- NIGMS, NICHD, National Institutes of Health.
Osteosarcoma cell (bone cancer) showing actin filaments (purple), mitochondria (yellow), and DNA (blue) in an U2OS cell (63x)- NIGMS, NICHD, National Institutes of Health. | Source

Video Micrograph.

In the modern world we have the option to make or have a virtual simulator, with this option we can learn from a sample without spending resources in their investigation, this kind of investigation is good to prove the worthiness of the project. The next step after doing a good project with a simulator is take everything you do in theory now apply it in the experiment phase.

We can use a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), this microscope is a very powerful tool for magnification, thanks to the beams of electrons in it. With this microscope we can obtain high resolution, constant 3D images which provide important and unique information of the sample in a morphological and biochemical ways.

In the next video we can a short video from a SEM shader test. This can provide several moments of interest in researching the samples.

Future of Microscopic Photography.

In the actual Industries or Universities this pictures can be really useful for investigation, in art this images can teach something unusual to the people. This is very important right now and in the future, this combination show us that everything in the world have a beautiful side, even the insects and the little organisms around our world.

The applications of this images are enormous, in medical areas, biotechnology, nanotechnology, etc...This pictures can help our scientist to create more and better tools for our future, cure hard and annoying diseases and much much more. We will be seeing a lot more of this pictures, every time with more resolution, quality, and magnification. We still have a lot more to learn from the world, many questions are hidden in our daily life, the point is to take our time to appreciate our world the way it is.

About the Author.

My name is David ZermeƱo and I'm a BioTech student. I developed an interest in this part of the research in my career, I love watching this beautiful images and at the same time interesting and useful images.

I hope you like this Hub and give me a feedback if you wish, to keep good quality and interesting Hubs like this. Also feel free to share your opinion or experiences in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

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