Award-Winning Images Of Scientific Research In Progress


Tom Hale


Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

"I Heart Research" by Sarah Boyle, Centre for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, South Australia/BMC “Research in Progress” Photo Competition.

The winners of the BioMed Central (BMC) “Research in progress” photography competition have been announced, featuring a beautiful selection of images that depict scientific discoveries in the making. This year, there were over 266 entries from across the globe, with winning images including a snapshot from under the microscope, photographs of researchers busy at work in the lab, and images of research being used out in the field. 

The winning image, titled “I Heart Research”, shows a fluorescently labeled mouse mammary tumor in the shape of heart, which was used by scientists studying the progression of breast cancer.


“I’m delighted that the image I submitted has been selected as the winner,” said competition winner Sarah Boyle, Centre for Cancer Biology in Adelaide, in a statement. “I took it as part of my research into breast cancer and for me it really shows how processes that we researchers use almost on a daily basis – such as fluorescent labeling and microscopy – can reveal stunning shapes and colors in things like human cells.”

The runner-up, image below, was awarded to Yuan Xiao Wei for an image of cucumber seeds growing in a petri dish. Titled “The Power of Life”, it shows an experiment that aims to uncover how well seeds germinate and the factors that determine the speed of seedling growth.

Speaking about this image, Rachel Burley, Publishing Director, BMC and SpringerOpen said: “Often when people think of science and research, they think of supercomputers, space exploration or bacteria growing in petri dishes, which may seem removed from their daily life."

"This photo very much brings home the fact that a lot of research has a direct impact on many aspects of the way we live. It showcases the science and curiosity behind much of what people come across on a daily basis – such as cucumbers in the supermarket. At the same time, its striking simplicity is a powerful illustration of life’s ability to develop and grow where we may not expect it.”


You can check out the rest of the highly commended images from the contest below.

“The Power of Life” by Yuan Xiao Wei
"Face of Captivity" by Lauren Gaynor
"Syringe Fear" by Pashupati Shrestha
"Night Sky on Planet Acetaminophen" by Karl Gaff
"Double Butterflies" by Jianing (??)
"Thousand spores" by Maria Pia Mannucci
A section of human skin cancer using a stain developed by the author. Hayfaa A. AL-Shammary
"Hummingbird" by Eliseth Ribeiro Leão


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