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Image of the Year 2022 APAC Winner Captures the Colorful Microscopic World

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Evident Image of the Year 2022 APAC winner Jiao Li

Meet Jiao Li from China, a microscope expert who won our Image of the Year 2022 Award for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region! Engaged in microscope use management, teaching, and functional development, Jiao trains researchers on how to use microscopes, obtain satisfactory images, and complete scientific work. She applied this technical knowledge to capture her winning entry—a colorful confocal image showing the stamens of the edelweiss flower.

We chatted with Jiao to learn more about the prize-winning image and discuss her approach to the art of science.

Q: What does your winning image show?

Jiao: This work shows fluorescent images of edelweiss stamens. Filigree in the image appears red. Pollen grains are intact and green in color.

Confocal image of edelweiss stamens

Captured by Jiao Li, this confocal image of the stamens of an edelweiss flower won an Image of the Year 2022 award for the APAC region.

Q: What do you find exciting about the image and subject matter?

Jiao: I acquired this work while teaching microscopy. For the imaging, I used layer scanning and reconstruction techniques on a laser scanning confocal microscope. The stamens exhibit colorful fluorescence after being excited by lasers of different wavelengths. When I obtained a complete image, I was fascinated by the structural form and color of the image. From the image, I can clearly understand the structure of the stamens. I can also appreciate the vitality of nature and the subtlety of its heritage.

Q: How did you create the image?

Jiao: I used laser scanning confocal microscopy to scan and reconstruct the sample in 3D. In the experiment, the image was obtained using a 20X objective lens, a scanning thickness of 100 µm, and an excitation wavelength of 561 nm, 488 nm, 405 nm, respectively.

Q: What challenges did you encounter when capturing this image?

Jiao: Due to the thick sample size, it is difficult to obtain complete results by imaging a single layer. Therefore, I took advantage of the laminar sweep of the laser scanning confocal microscope to perform a three-dimensional layer sweep of the sample. During the experiment, I determined the optimal shooting distance to achieve the best resolution effect. Finally, I acquired this image with a scanning thickness of 100 µm and a imaging distance of 3 µm.

Q: Why did you choose this image as your entry for the Image of the Year competition?

Jiao: This work shows the fluorescent structure of plant stamens in nature. The colors of the images are brilliant, and they look hopeful, lamenting the subtlety of nature's heritage. Science and art explore the essence of things and reveal the truth of things from different angles and in different ways. This work makes me feel the beauty of science and technology and art complementing each other.

Q: Where and when did you first learn to use a microscope?

Jiao: My first exposure to microscopy was in middle school during biology class. Microscopy is an important tool in scientific research.

Q: When did you become inspired to use microscopes to create art?

Jiao: The first sample I observed with an optical microscope was onion epidermal cells. When I saw phenomena that were invisible to the naked eye, I thought the world under the microscope was both mysterious and magical.

Later, I found that everything around us can be observed with it, such as the flowers and trees around us and common microorganisms. The world under the microscope is colorful. Now the microscope is an important research tool in my work, and I have used it to observe more diverse samples. These observations can help solve scientific problems and promote the development of scientific research, which makes me feel that it is important to master and use microscopy technology.

Q: What do you find most fascinating about microscopy?

Jiao: There are many kinds of light microscopy techniques, and using these techniques can help us explore the mysteries of the microscopic world and solve problems in the fields of biology and medicine. In addition to science, microscopic images often bring artistic experience, which makes scientific life more interesting. 

Microscopy technology is constantly evolving and improving. Microscopes from Evident always keep up with development. The instruments are simple and quick to use, with a great user experience.

Beautify Your Screen with Image of the Year 2022 Wallpapers

For an even closer look at Jiao’s winning image, head to our Image of the Year page. You can even download the image as a wallpaper to beautify your smartphone and PC. We hope it inspires you to capture the art of science under your microscope!

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Staff Writer

Rebecca holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Endicott College and writes about trends and technologies in science and industry. She works closely with Evident engineers and scientists to write pieces about the latest laser scanning, super-resolution, multiphoton, upright, stereo, and inverted microscope systems, as well as leading-edge optics, cameras, and software. Follow her work to learn about Evident's latest for numerous applications, including cytology, pathology, education, and more.

Dec 21 2023
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