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The underside of a round-bottom flask with golden and turquoise crystals sticking to its inner surface.
Credit: Lynn M. Stevens

Congratulations to the winners of our 2020 Chemistry in Pictures photo contest! Grand-prize winner Lynn M. Stevens received a mobile phone photography kit.

Grand prize winner: Golden globe

Regular readers of Chemistry in Pictures will remember Lynn M. Stevens’s funky color-changing dye. But you might not recognize it here after Stevens purified the compound. Stevens aims to use this photosensitive dye to shorten the amount of time it takes to 3-D print objects and print them in a biologically compatible way.

Submitted by Lynn M. Stevens


First runner up: Milky Way malady

A micrograph of a pancreatic cancer cell.
Credit: Lorna Young

This image, taken with a confocal microscope, shows a pancreatic cancer cell. The cell’s irregular surface is covered with adhesions, tiny structures that help the cell attach to other cells and interact with its environment. The long, thin strands are microtubules that make up the cell’s cytoskeleton. Lorna Young, a postdoc with the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool, captured this image. Young’s team studies how healthy and diseased cells move within the body.

Submitted by Lorna Young


Second runner up: BODIPY on fire

Several cuvettes appear to contain colored flames.
Credit: Andrea Cabrera-Espinoza

Look closely. Are those flames? Graduate student Andrea Cabrera-Espinoza dropped BODIPY derivatives dissolved in chloroform into quartz cuvettes containing methanol. The compounds are less soluble in methanol than in chloroform. That solubility difference helped slow their diffusion, allowing Cabrera-Espinoza to capture the movement under UV light, creating the illusion of colored flames.

Submitted by Andrea Cabrera-Espinoza

The 2021 contest is on. Send us your captivating chemistry images.

Click here to see more Chemistry in Pictures.

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