The first-prize image shows the embryonic hand of a Madagascar giant day gecko (Phelsuma grandis). It was taken by Grigorii Timin, a PhD student at the University of Geneva’s Department of Genetics and Evolution, under the supervision of Michel Milankovitch. To do so, Timin had to photograph the hand using a confocal microscope, then he had to merge together hundreds of images. But the net result provides a thorough look at the gecko’s nerves, bones, tendons, ligaments, skin, and blood cells.
“This particular image is beautiful and informative, as an overview and also when you magnify it in a certain region, shedding light on how the structures are organized on a cellular level,” said Timin in a statement provided by the contest.