Under the Microscope, Some Things Look Too Crazy to Be Real

Under the Microscope, Some Things Look Too Crazy to Be Real

Jumping spider

Physicists wonder if there are other universes, but biologists have already found them. Just look through a microscope and there you are, in a different world of life.

Igor Siwanowicz, a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus, visits often. Acclaimed for his macroscopic photography of insects (like the jumping spider above) and other small animals, he uses microscopes to explore ever-smaller realms.

“I first laid hands on my microscope only three years ago, when I changed fields,” said Siwanowicz. “I used to work as a biochemist, but I decided that neurobiology was more in tune with my naturalist approach. Plus they have these cool toys: confocal laser-scanning microscopes.”

On the following pages, Siwanowicz takes Wired on a tour of some of his best work.

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