July 19, 2012 -- Almost everyone in the United States drinks some kind of caffeinated beverage daily. Whether it's coffee, tea, a soft drink or an energy drink, you're consuming caffeine, and that means you're consuming these crystalline xanthine alkaloids. This photo is a false-colored image of caffeine crystals taken with a scanning electron micrograph.
The image was one of 16 winners of the annual Wellcome Image Awards, which were announced on 20 June 2012. Wellcome Images, based in the U.K., is a source for images of medicine, biomedical science and clinical medicine.
The image was chosen as a winner because, "It's a bright, intricate image of something that most of us experience every day," said James Cutmore, Picture Editor at BBC Focus Magazine. He explained his decision on the Wellcome website, saying, "What interests me in my professional role is showing our readers images of everyday things from a different, at first unrecognisable, perspective. For that reason, this image really grabbed my attention.
-- by Tracy Staedter