Cool coral This underwater image of live green brain coral (Goniastrea sp.) was created by James Nicholson, a researcher at the Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research. One full polyp in the center is shown with four surrounding polyps. The walled corallites are purple. All of the color seen here comes from the natural autofluorescence of the coral - with the exception of the purple, which takes advantage of near-violet LED illumination to highlight the near-transparent tissue. The picture won fifth place in the Olympus BioScapes contest.
A cluster of spore-filled sporangia and specialized protective hairs called paraphyses of the Polypodium virginianum, a common fern in the eastern U.S., is seen in this image captured using confocal microscopy. Igor Siwanowicz of the HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, Va., won third prize in the Olympus BioScapes competition with this image.
Burj Khalifa building in Dubai
Madagascar from Space. Looks like a painting.