This week, Nikon announced the winners of its annual Small World Photomicrography Competition. This spectacular photo won third place and depicts an osteosarcoma cell. The image was submitted by National Institutes of Health researcher Dylan Burnette, PhD. A recent post on Ars Technica offers a detailed explanation of the image:
The cell is outlined in purple by structures called actin stress fibers, which essentially form a tiny skeleton made of protein that helps give the cell its shape. The yellow spaghetti-like structures are groups of mitochondria, a small structure within the cell that helps convert sugars and other energy sources into the ATP that powers most proteins. Finally, the nucleus glows blue thanks to a dye called DAPI that sticks to DNA. In this case, the image is magnified at 63x, and is the merger of three separate images, one for each color.