A microscopic video depicting the immune response in the lymph node of a mouse has won a prestigious photography prize.

The video by Dr Olena Kamenyeva of the National Institute of Health's Laboratory of Immunoregulation was declared this year's winner of Nikon's Small World In Motion Photomicrography Competition.

His clip, "Sensing Danger", was described as "representative of efficient innate immune reaction in the lymph node", but to the outsider is also a beautiful and hypnotic abstract watch in its own right.

The winners were judged on their artistic as well as scientific merit, Nikon said.

Dr Stefan Lüpold won second place with a video showing sperm from two males competing in the reproductive tract of a fruit fly.

Third was a video by Dr Nils Lindstrom, "Growing complexity in the kidney", which depicted a metanephric kidney grown over four days in vitro.

Take a look at the winners in the slideshow below.

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  • First Place: 'Sensing danger'

    By Dr. Olena Kamenyeva

  • Second Place: Sperm FIght

    Sperm from two males competing within reproductive tract of a female fruit fly, by Dr. Stefan Lüpold

  • Third Place: Complexity of ureteric bud branching and nephron formatio

    Dr. Nils Lindström

  • Honourable Mention: Tetrahymena

    Tetrahymena by Andrew Dopheide

  • Honourable Mention: Liquid Crystals

    By Dr. Oleg D. Lavrentovich