A competition-winning close-up of a mosquitou2019s heart is being used to help combat malaria.

Winning photo

Picture credit: Jonas King/Vanderbilt University

A competition-winning close-up of a mosquito?s heart is being used to help combat malaria.

Jonas King from Nashville, USA, said he is using the tiny photo – captured using a microscope – to study how mosquitoes carry and transmit pathogens including malaria.

His image beat more than 2,200 entries in the 2010 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, a contest that recognises how photomicrographs can carry both artistic and scientific qualities.

The image was captured using fluorescence technology, which enables scientists to trace the presence of biomolecules in cells and determine the precise intracellular location of proteins of interest.

?Mosquitoes remain one of the greatest scourges of mankind and this image of the mosquito heart helps us understand how they transport nutrients, hormones and even pathogens such as malaria throughout their bodies,? said King, who is a researcher based at Vanderbilt University.

?I?m happy that such an important and aesthetically pleasing image was selected as the winner of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition, which to my mind is the most respected competition devoted entirely to microscopy?.

The contest is run by Nikon Instruments.

For details visit www.nikonsmallworld.com.