The beauty of the natural world is something many of us take for granted, but few realise just how gorgeous life can be at the microscopic level.

For the past five years Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute has held a scientific photography competition, open to staff and students, to capture striking images of a world most of us never get to witness.

Now for the first time, all the scientific images captured in this annual competition since 2008, will be showcased in the one exhibition at the Queensland Museum.

Director of the Eskitis Institute, Professor Ron Quinn AM, said the exhibition will show how beauty can be found in the most unlikely places, but it’s not all just about aesthetics.

“Visualisation of processes within cells and tissues is an important technique and a key step to understanding disease biology,” Professor Quinn said.

“These images give us an extraordinary insight into how our cells work and what happens when they malfunction.”

The exhibition, entitled Living Colour, will be launched at the Collector’s Café at the Queensland Museum at 6 pm, 24 July and run until 29 August 2013. A viewers’ choice competition will be run in conjunction with the exhibition. Those who cast a vote will go into the draw for an iPad.

The exhibition is running alongside a display of parasite images entitled Parasites in Focus, which is supported by the Australian Society for Parasitology.