Wellcome Image Awards 2017

The winners of the Wellcome Image Awards have now been announced. Ezequiel Miron, one of the selected winners, represents the department of Biochemistry with his image "Unravelled DNA in a human lung cell" shown in Figure 1. (http://www.wellcomeimageawards.org/2017/unravelled-dna-in-a-human-lung-cell).

Unravelled DNA in a human lung cell

Figure 1: Unravelled DNA in a human lung cell

His picture, captured using the OMX V3 microscope at Micron shows the nucleus of one of two new daughter cells after cellular division. The DNA in this cell has somehow become caught, and is being pulled between the two cells. This has caused the DNA to unfold inside the nucleus, and DNA fibres can be seen running through it. As the new cells have moved apart, the tension distributed by the rope-like DNA has deformed the nucleus’ usually circular envelope. 

The width of this image is 84 micrometres (0.084 mm) acquired with 3D SIM, a super-resolution microscopy technique. Super-resolution microscopy is an umbrella term for different types of light microscopy that overcome the conventional physical properties of light in order to achieve a higher resolution than is possible through standard light microscopy. 

The image is on display at the Wellcome Trust in London and at other 11 venues across the UK, Europe, Africa and Russia, and has been featured by the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-39272111) and The Guardian among other national news outlets, and internationally through the Washington post and others. It has also been featured by the MRC (http://bpod.mrc.ac.uk/archive/2017/3/21).

A competition to decide the most popular image among the winners is still open to the public (http://www.wellcomeimageawards.org/about/vote/ ) so go and represent Biochemistry and vote for your favourite for a chance to win a printed copy.


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