22 Glorious Photos That Prove Science Isn't Just For Dweebs

The 'Wellcome Images Awards' celebrate the majesty of science and medicine

You can always trust the Wellcome Images Awards to provide some eye-bathingly beautiful photographic goodness year-on-year.

In case you don't know, the WIA celebrates images of science and medicine which manage to capture the stunning reality of life on Earth.

This is its 20th year, and the overall winner will be announced on 15 March. Check out some of the contenders below:

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Brain-on- a-Chip

By Collin Edington and Iris Lee, © Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Here, researchers are investigating how neural stem cells grow on a synthetic gel called PEG. After just two weeks, the stem cells (magenta) produced nerve fibers (green)."

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Blood vessels of the African grey parrot

By Scott Birch and Scott Echols

"This image shows a 3D reconstruction of an African grey parrot, post euthanasia."

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#breastcancer Twitter connections

By Eric Clarke, Richard Arnett and Jane Burns, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

"This is a graphical visualization of data extracted from tweets containing the hashtag #breastcancer."

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Zebrafish eye and neuromasts

By Ingrid Lekk and Steve Wilson, University College London

"This fish's nervous system has also been labelled for study, and is shown in blueish-green."

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Two young boys in rural Nicaragua

By Joshua McDonald

"The two boys were reluctant to speak to the photojournalist in case it jeopardised their chances of working in the sugarcane fields, which are partly responsible for the chronic kidney disease that affects more than half of the adult population in Nicaragua, Central America"

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Synthetic DNA channel transporting cargo across membranes

By Michael Northrop

"These DNA nanostructures are currently being engineered for use in vaccines, biofuels and biosensors and as research tools."

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Stickman – The Vicissitudes of Crohn's (Resolution)

By Spooky Pooka

"This image is part of a series called Stickman – The Vicissitudes of Crohn's. Its images are based around the character Stickman, a proxy or alter ego of the artist, who suffers from Crohn's disease. "


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Patient receiving treatment during outreach eye screening in India

By Susan Smart

"A patient being treated by an eye doctor at a makeshift eye clinic in India. This image was taken while Susan, the photographer, was volunteering for the charity Unite For Sight. "

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MicroRNA scaffold cancer therapy

By Joâo Conde, Nuria Oliva and Natalie Artzi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

"Short genetic sequences called microRNAs, which control the proper function and growth of cells, are being investigated by researchers as a possible cancer therapy."

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Language pathways of the brain

By Stephanie J Forkel and Ahmad Beyh, Natbrainlab, King's College London; Alfonso De Lara Rubio, King's College London

"This image shows a 3D-printed reconstruction of the white matter pathway connecting  two areas of the brain (here shown from the left) which is called the arcuate fasciculus."