Have you ever wondered what caffeine crystals look like under a scanning electron microscope? How about a fluorescence micrograph of a chicken embryo? If so, the wait is over. And if you've never considered -- let alone imagined -- these scenes, prepare to be blown away.
Every year since 2000, the Wellcome Trust, a London-based medical research charity, has "[recognized] the creators of the most informative, striking and technically excellent images" to come into its possession.
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The following images are the 2012 winners, and include medical photography, as well as several kinds of high-tech microscopy.
The images include false-color and stained samples, which enhance their visibility. So while some of these colors might not exist in nature, they do a lot to spur curiosity and draw attention to the capabilities of modern medicine.
The awards come on the heels of the International Society for Stem Cell Research's recent announcement of clinical trials for stem cell technology.
LOOK: 2012 Wellcome Image Awards