The Best Medical Photos of the Year

Scientific shots that just might change your definition of "masterpiece"

Silkworm Trachea
This shot of a silkworm's trachea was named one of the year's best medical images by the Wellcome Trust. See the entire collection in this gallery.M I Walker, Wellcome Images
Bioinformatics: Gene Expression Analysis
Using mathematics, computer science and statistics researchers can use bioinformatics to visualize gene expression studies. In this case, each dot represents a gene—lines are expression patterns between genes.The Sanger Institute, Wellcome Images
Breast Cancer Cell
Color-enhanced shot of a breast cancer cellAnne Weston, Wellcome Images
Clostridium Difficile
Color-enhanced image of the bacteria Clostridium difficile.Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images
Colon Cancer Cells
Color-enhanced image of colon cancer cells.Lorna McInroy, Wellcome Images
Plasmid DNA
Part of a study to see whether mineral sheets could protect plasmid DNA against extreme conditions (such as those found near hydrothermal vents). If so, it would give credence to the possibility that life originated there.Mary-Ann Thyveetil, Wellcome Images
E. Coli
Pretty picture, ugly subject. The E. coli bacteria (bright red dots) enters the lower intestine, and breaks apart the (blue) waterproof barriers—the cause of diarrhea.S. Schuller, Wellcome Images
Mid-Gestation Mouse Embryo
A mouse embryo at 11.5 days.MRC Human Genetics Unit, Wellcome Images
Fly
Color-enhanced image of a fly standing on sugar crystals.Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Inside an HIV particle. Red capsid, the virus's protein shell, surrounds the core RNA. Blue represents the membrane.Stephen Fuller, Wellcome Images
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Inside an HIV particle. Red capsid, the virus's protein shell, surrounds the core RNA. Blue represents the membrane.Stephen Fuller, Wellcome Images
Neisseria Meningitidis
The Neisseria meningitidis bacteria (yellow) inside human airway cells. The bacteria best known for its role in meningitis.Shao Jin Ong, Wellcome Images
Ribosome
A molecular model of a bacterial ribosome. Different colors represent different RNA and protein components.MRC Lab of Molecular Biology, Wellcome Images
Neural Stem Cells
Neural stem cells (in green) from a mouse transplanted into the brain of a newborn mouse. There they transform into, among others, axon-insulating oligodendrocytes.Yirui Sun, Wellcome Images
Blood Vessel Forming
New blood vessels forming in a retina. The "roots" of the existing blood vessels spread and connect to form new ones.Denise Stenzel, Wellcome Images
Prostate Cancer Cells
Color-enhanced image of prostate cancer cells.Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images
Red Blood Cells
A mass of our most common type of blood cell.Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images
Ruptured Blood Vessel
Red blood cells drip out of a broken blood vessel (in blue). A mutation in the ephrinB2 gene weakens blood vessels, making them more susceptible to rupturing.Anne Weston, Wellcome Images
Seminiferous Tubule
Sperm developing in a seminiferous tubule—tails are pointing towards the center of the tubule.MRC NIMR, Wellcome Images
Villi
Villi inside a human small intestine. Their finger-like shape increase the intestine's surface area and its ability to absorb food.S. Schuller, Wellcome Images
Vitamin C
Crystals of oxidized vitamin C. One of the vitamin's benefits is that in its oxidized state it is stable and unreactive.M I Walker, Wellcome Images