Stunning Zebrafish video wins top Nikon prize
Image: Development of sensory neurons in a zebrafish embryo [He/Haynes]
A zebrafish embryo growing its elaborate nervous system is the winner of this year's Nikon Small World in Motion Photomicrography competition.
Created by Dr Elizabeth Haynes, a biologist in the lab of UW–Madison neuroscientist Mary Halloran and Jiaye "Henry" He from the Morgridge Institute for Research, US, the winning video reflects time lapse footage of 16 hours and uses light sheet technology to capture the entire zebrafish embryo in 3D, at a high temporal resolution.
2018 Nikon Small World in Motion Competition - First Place
Haynes studies the role of kinesin light chain genes during the highly complex development of sensory neurons while He develops microscopy methods to image living specimens at high resolution.
Their collaboration began when the Halloran Lab was looking for ways to image zebrafish neurodevelopment in a more dynamic fashion, capturing all of the details and intricacies of development with respect to time.
To film the developing embryo, Haynes and He let the zebrafish embryo develop in water, within their custom microscope, as the conventional technique of mounting the zebrafish in gel restricts embryo growth.
According to the researchers, the key challenge of this approach was to keep the specimen within the field of view.
“There are many kinesin light chain genes and their individual roles are poorly understood,” highlights 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.”
This year’s second place winner was Dr Miguel Bandres for his video of a laser propagating inside a soap membrane.
2018 Nikon Small World in Motion Competition - Second Place
The video uniquely captures a lot of physical phenomena, including the interference of light in the soap membrane, so viewers can see the variations in the thickness of the membrane.