Spectacular NIH Microscopy Images Available

Make your own exhibit of stunning, high resolution, professional-quality microscopy images using downloads from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) image gallery. The beautiful images are not only rich with educational value, but also free for noncommercial use.

A select collection of these images—all taken by researchers—hung in an exhibit, Life Magnified,  at Washington Dulles International Airport’s Gateway Gallery that was extended twice due to popularity.

In a museum or educational setting, the colorful microscopy images can be used to teach about body parts in cellular detail, microorganisms that keep us healthy or make us sick, model organisms that allow us to study biological processes, and how life works at the cellular level. There are dozens of images, many large enough to print at sizes of 24 inches or larger.

Sample themes include:

Life Magnified: Close-Up Views of Life Inside the Body
Skin, bone, brain, blood, eye, liver, muscle. Viewed through a powerful microscope, each of our 200+ cell types is a work of living art, unique in appearance, activities, and abilities—and full of lessons about how life works.

Microbes: Magnified
Bacteria, viruses, and parasites magnified up to 50,000 times reveal the surprising beauty of microorganisms. See the microorganisms that are essential to human health, and those that destroy it.

Mind and Brain: Close-Up Views of the Brain and Nervous System
Powerful microscopes provide unprecedented views of the body parts that allow us to move, think, and remember.

Living Laboratories: Creature Close-Ups
Small organisms like mice, fruit flies, and zebrafish have much in common with us, including genes, chemical pathways, and cellular processes. Studying these creatures helps researchers better understand human health and disease.

Choose one of the above topics, or contact NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) for help customizing an exhibit for your institution.  For more information, contact Alisa Zapp Machalek, NIGMS science communicator at alisa.machalek@nih.gov.

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