Feature Stories

Science Photo Library produces regular feature stories covering the latest development in science, technology and medicine. Our most recent stories are shown here. The feature can usually be licensed either as a package or as single images with normal image licensing fees. There is no extra charge for using the words. To license a feature story please contact our sales team.

Feature Story Archive

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NEW  Surgeon's Tools of Yesteryear

Fashioned out of metal, wood, tortoiseshell, mother of pearl and ivory, these exotic implements may resemble instruments of torture, but they were in fact the pioneering medical instruments of their day. Often ornately designed, these tools - dating largely fr More...

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NEW  Mystery of Smell

Smell is one of the most important of the senses, perhaps the most important. It allows animals to find food; recognise harmful substances; detect predators or prey; navigate and communicate with other members of their group; and locate and choose a mate. Scie More...

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NEW  Vintage Astronomical Art

These drawings and artworks come from one of the most interesting and productive times in astronomy. This was a period of several hundred years, between the building of the first telescopes and the development of the camera. During this period, astronomers had More...

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NEW  Metamorphosis

Talented microscopists Oliver Meckes and Nicole Ottawa who together form award winning duo Eye of Science have completed their latest epic project: capturing the faces of insects to compare the transformation between larvae and adult. These pairings reveal the More...

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NEW  When Plants Fight Back

Rooted to the ground and without an immune system, plants might appear to be easy fodder for herbivores such as caterpillars and invasive pathogens. But far from being passive and helpless, plants have evolved an impressive array of weapons. These range from r More...

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NEW  Wiped out by man

According to conservationists, there are many animal species – for example, the Sumatran Tiger and the Giant Panda – nearing extinction due to human activities. But humans have already wiped out many animal species. During the great human territorial expansio More...

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NEW  The Creatures That Science Ignored

One spits acid from its mouth; another attacks livestock and drinks their blood. Others resemble long-extinct flying dinosaurs or giant sea serpents. Yet these bizarre and terrifying creatures, which witnesses claim to have seen, are all creatures that are unk More...

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NEW  Mapping the ancient world

Since the dawn of civilisation, maps have documented the exploration of the farthest known reaches of the world. The earliest ‘world’ maps date back more than two thousand years. By today’s standards, they appear crude and distorted - but it is surprising to s More...

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NEW  Faecal Transplants

Known as faecal transplantation - transplants of human faeces from the healthy to the sick can help combat the worldwide rise of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Faecal transplantation or bacterial biotherapy involves the restoration of a normal heal More...

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NEW  A Year in Space 2015

Astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) take high resolution photographs of the Earth as part of their many duties. More...

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NEW  Snowflakes Up Close

These are images of individual snowflakes as viewed under the power of a specialised low-temperature electron microscope and coloured by an artist. The images reveal the detailed physical structure of each snowflake. Capturing images of snow in the electron mi More...

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NEW  Big Bangs

From a rifle shot to a supernova, the universe is filled with explosive events. This feature is about the biggest bangs on and off Earth. It begins with events on the human scale, and ends with the largest explosion in the known universe, the Big Bang. You wou More...

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NEW  The First Scientific Photographers

The birth of modern photography in the 19th Century gave scientists, astronomers, inventors and amateur tinkerers a vital tool to record the results of their endeavours. These early images of celestial bodies, microscopic specimens, medical procedures and inve More...

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NEW  Chilli, the hottest plant in the world

For people who like their food spicy, it’s the chilli pepper that provides the heat. Chillies are crucial ingredients of cuisines across the world, from Mexico’s Chilli con Carne to India’s Vindaloo. In fact, the chilli has become so iconic that competitions a More...

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NEW  Human Brain Under Attack

The human brain is a highly evolved, complex and remarkable organ. Its power to process complex thought, emotion and intellect has allowed the human race to flourish. But the brain is also susceptible to damage and deterioration from within, and disease and in More...

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NEW  Good Food Bugs

You go to the fridge, sniff the bottle of milk, and it’s off. Those slices of bread you thought would last another day have green patches on them. And that long-past-its-sell-by date yogurt – forget it. Food that has been spoiled by mould or bacteria is the b More...

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NEW  Golden Age of Islamic Science

Scholars from the Islamic world between the 7th and 13th Centuries were some of the greatest scientists who ever lived. Yet most of the West has never heard of their achievements. Historians studying rare manuscripts today now recognise the importance of the More...

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NEW  Uv Flowers

To the human eye, a flower garden in full bloom is full of colours and hues. But other eyes see flowers very differently. These flowers were photographed in ordinary light, then again in ultraviolet (UV) light, which is how pollinating insects see them. The UV More...

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