The finalists of the 2015 Wellcome Image Awards have been announced. From insectoid eyes and cat tongues to curved spines and boll weevils, here are the most spectacular science photos of the past year.

Top image: The boll weevil as seen through a scanning electron miscroscope (Daniel Kariko/Wellcome Images).

"The breath-taking riches of the imagery that science generates are so important in telling stories about research and helping us to understand often abstract concepts," noted scientist and broadcaster Adam Rutherford in a Wellcome Images release. "It's not just about imaging the very small either, it's about understanding life, death, sex and disease: the cornerstones of drama and art. Once again, the Wellcome Image Awards celebrate all of this and more with this year's incredible range of winning images."

Greenfly Eye

Kevin Mackenzie, University of Aberdeen/Wellcome Images.

Newly Discovered Parasitoid Wasp

Andrew Polaszek, Natural History Museum/Wellcome Images.

Elderly Woman with Kyphosis (curvature of the spine)

Mark Bartley/Wellcome Images.

Chemical Reactions in the Kidney

Jefferson R Brown, Robert E Marc, Bryan W Jones, Glen Prusky and Nazia Alam/Wellcome Images.

Cross Section of a Cat's Tongue

David Linstead/Wellcome Images.

Pollen Grains, Asteraceae

Maurizio De Angelis/Wellcome Images.

Purkinje Cell and Dendritic Tree

Professor M Häusser, Sarah Rieubland and Arnd Roth, UCL/Wellcome Images.

Drug-Releasing Depots in Mouse Lungs

Gregory Szeto, Adelaide Tovar, Jeffrey Wyckoff, MIT/Wellcome Images.

Brain Astrocyte Cell Taking Up Carbon Nano-Needles

Khuloud T. al-Jamal, Serene Tay, Michael Cicirko/Wellcome Images.

Nervous System in a Fruit Fly Larva

Albert Cordona/HHMI/Wellcome Images.

Stomach Chamber of a Goat (Reticulum)

Michael Frank/Wellcome Images.

Natural Killer (NK) Cells of the Immune System

Dieckermann and Lawrence, Cambridge University/Wellcome Images.

Mouse Brain

Luis de la Torre-Ubieta/Wellcome Images.

Tuatara Skeleton

Sophie Regnault/Wellcome Images.

The overall winner will be announced at a ceremony on March 18th, 2015. The finalists were selected by a panel of nine judges.

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