PHOTOS: Best Microscopic Images of 2008 Announced

PHOTOS: Best Microscopic Photos of 2008 Announced
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Fourth Place: Deprived Amoebas

Cell-therapy researcher Matthew Springer took this snapshot of growing amoebas--magnified a hundred times--as part of his postdoctoral research at Stanford University.

Springer wanted to know whether these organisms, Dictyostelium discoideum, would continue to grow even when deprived of a crucial motor protein, myosin. He discovered that myosin is only needed for the first and final stages of the amoeba's development and that, in all stages between, myosin is like a candy bar after lunch--nice but not needed.
—Photograph by Matthew Springer/University of California, San Francisco/photo courtesy of Nikon Small World
 
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