You've Never Seen a Cell Look Like This

This might look like a bird from Tron just laid an egg in some futuristic nest, but in fact you're looking at the nucleus of a single human cell.

The image shows the nucleus of a lab-cultured monkey kidney cell, lying amongst a network of microtubules. Those hollow filaments provide the cell with proteins, which help it move and divide. Crucially, though, you're viewing it at 100-times magnification.

The image is one of the entrants in the Nikon Small World competition, which recognizes the best pictures taken using a microscope every single year. The winner will be announced later this month. [New Scientist]

Image by Mariela Loschi