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IPFS News Link • Biology, Botany and Zoology

Living Brain Image Wins Photography Prize

•, Stephanie Pappas
A rare peak inside the skull beat out a plethora of other gorgeous shots for first prize, including a colorful caffeine crystal and a spiny, aqua-colored moth fly that could pass as an extraterrestrial.
Cardiff University anatomist Alice Roberts, one of the judges of the annual biomedical photography contest, praised the winning image for its glimpse at the unknown. [See the Wellcome Trust Winning Photos]
"Through the skill of the photographer, we have the privilege of seeing something which is normally hidden away inside our skulls," Roberts said in a statement. "The arteries are bright scarlet with oxygenated blood, the veins deep purple, and the 'grey matter' of the brain a flushed, delicate pink. It is quite extraordinary."

Medical photographer Robert Ludlow captured the image of the living brain while observing brain surgery on a patient with epilepsy. Neurosurgeons implanted electrodes in the brain to detect areas where typical electrical communications in the brain had gone haywire, triggering seizures. In subsequent surgery, these areas were removed, and the patient made a full recovery.

"For me, the context, the composition and the clarity of this image made it a winner," Roberts said. 

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