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General Images


Forsythia stem showing fasciation - more details from the RHS here:

Science Photo Library

The Science Photo Library (SPL) is one of the largest commercial providers of images related to all aspects of science, with over 100,000 images available online. The images are very high quality and can easily be browsed by subject. High-resolution images are expensive, but medium-resolution watermarked images (500x500 pixels) can be downloaded for free. These are perfectly adequate for PowerPoint presentations and worksheets, and the watermark is unobtrustive (and even adds to authenticity).

iStockPhoto is a commercial image library based in Canada. The difference is that the images are contributed by members of the public and are available for very reasonable rates (currently starting at around 50p). To purchase an image, you buy a number of credits in advance, using your credit card. Then you can buy any images you like. The rates vary according to the size of the image you choose. The site has an excellent search system so that you can easily find the image you want.

Image Bank

Image bank, from the Higher Education Academy Centre for Bioscience, consists of freely available images contributed by academics, researchers, Learned Societies, industry and individuals with rights cleared for educational purposes. Users are able to search for images based on keywords or browse within a wide range of bioscience subject areas. Images are then 'downloadable' along with informative descriptive text provided by the contributor. All images undergo a validation process by Centre for Bioscience staff with good subject knowledge. ImageBank also offers reviews of, and links to existing bioscience image databases.

Medical Images

Wellcome Images

Wellcome Images contains 40,000 biomedical, health and social history images.The images are very high quality and are searchable. Best of all, images are under the creative commons licence, which means they are free for non-commercial use. Check out the Wellcome Images Awards for the best pictures each year.

3D Science

3D Science is a commercial image library specialising in medical and microbiology images. Images start at $10 for a 400x300 pixel image, but low-resolution (300x200 pixel) watermarked images can be downloaded for free.

Jim Perkins Medical Illustrations

Jim Perkins' own site has a selection of his medical illustrations that can be downloaded. There is also a link to the full commercial medical image site.

Yale cardiothoracic Imaging

The cardiothoracic Imaging site from the Yale University School of medicine, contains hundreds of beautiful images of the human thorax, often interactive.

Dream Anatomy

Dream Anatomy, from the US National Library of Medicine, has a gallery of historical medical images, such as the drawings of Andreas Vesalius. Images are all free.

Plant Images

SAPS Plant Science Image Database
The SAPS Plant Science Image Database is a small database containing around 100 images of plants. The images are targetted at teachers and come with detailed explanatory text. All images are free for non-commercial use. Currently there are only images in the flowering plants section, but more sections are planned. Unfortunately the images are rather low resolution (330 x 330 pixels).

Plant Microscopy Image gallery

The Plant Microscopy Image gallery, from Jim Haseloff at the University of Cambridge Department of Plant Sciences, contains hundreds of beautiful fluorescent and confocal images of plant tissues.

Agricultural Research Services

Agricultural Research Services, from the US Department of agriculture offer an image library of free, high-resolution photos related to agriculture.

Cell Biology Images

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy

Dennis Kunkel Microscopy Education produces colourised electron micrographs of organisms and cell ultrastructure. The commercial images are very expensive, but this education site has images that can be used at no cost for education purposes, with written permission. Alternatively, the low-resolution watermarked images can be downloaded.

Nikon's Small World Gallery

Nikon's Small World Gallery shows the winning images from the the annual "Small World Competition", an international competition for photomicroscopy. The images are often stunningly beautiful, and mostly biological. High resolution (700x500 pixels) can be freely downloaded.

Histology Learning System

The Histology Learning System, from Boston University, has high-quality electron micrographs showing cell ultrastructure. The online images are interactive and can be labelled and zoomed-in.

JayDoc HistoWeb

JayDoc HistoWeb, from the University of Kansas Medical Centre, contains hundreds of microscope images of different tissues. They're all free for educational use.

Genomics Image Gallery

The Genomics Image Gallery, from the US Department of Energy, has free images related to genomics, biotechnology and biofuels.

XTalent Image Gallery

The XTalent Image Gallery, based in Australia, contains "microscopic and macroscopic views of our world". The microscope image are fairly low-resolution (200x300 pixels), but some are very good.

Molecular Biology Images

David Goodsell Molecular Art

David Goodsell's pages have artistic images of biological molecules and cells.