A 48-hour time-lapse film of neurons developing in the central nervous system of a chick embryo has won the Nikon Small World in Motion video competition. Taken under a microscope by Alexandre Dumoulin at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, the footage shows the elongation of axons – projections from nerve cells – between the two hemispheres of the central nervous system. In neurological disorders, axons can be impaired. “By studying these, organisms I aim to enhance our comprehension of how the nervous system functions and identify potential factors contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders,” says Dumoulin.
Each year, the Nikon Small World competition showcases the best microscopy images and videos. Many are created as part of research. Other winning videos included depictions of the blood flow in fish, human cells infected by SARS-CoV-2, pond creatures at high magnification and a close-up of a beating zebrafish heart.