WATCH: Glimpse Inside Fertile Quail Egg Wins Photography Prize

The Nikon Small World competition also featured the beating heart of a two-day-old zebrafish and the mitochondria in a living cell.

Sequential, three-dimensional images of a quail embryo growing inside its egg have won the Nikon Small World photomicrography competition for Portuguese biologist Gabriel Martins of the University of Lisbon.

The video, which is made up of more than 1,000 images of virtual slices through the 23-millimeter-long specimen, was one of hundreds submitted for the contest, which highlights the latest techniques of scientific imaging, Wired website reported.

Second place went to a video of the beating heart of a live, two-day-old zebrafish embryo, submitted by Michael Weber of Germany’s Max Planck institute of Cell Biology and Genetics. The video clearly shows blood cells flowing throw the heart of the embryo, which is only slightly larger than the diameter of a human hair..

Third place went to Lin Shao of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, whose video shows, for the first time, the inner details of the mitochondria in a living cell within a 3D image.
 

A quail embryo (Reuters)
Reuters