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SMALL UNIVERSE – Astounding Electron Microscopy Images
Human and Animal Embryos, Sperm, Breast Cancer, Clots, Eggs&

3 Amazing Picture Books

Microcosmos: Discovering The World Through Micro… by Brandon Broll The Bizarre and Incredible World of Plants by Wolfgang Stuppy Super Vision: A New View of Nature by Ivan Amato


B0003309 Credit Yorgos Nikas, Wellcome Images Human embryo after zona drilling – coloured Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a human embryo at day 3. The egg has been fertilised in vitro and has developed to this stage in culture. The coat around the egg (zona pellucida) has been treated with acid Tyrodes solution to make a hole so an individual cell can be removed. This cell can then be used for genetic diagnosis before the embryo is transferred to the womans uterus. This allows the selective implantation of embryos that do not carry the genetic disease in question.

Credit K. Hodivala-Dilke & M. Stone, Wellcome Images SEM of blood vessel in a melanoma – coloured – A colour-enhanced, freeze-fracture scanning electron micrograph of a blood vessel that has grown into a melanoma and is providing nourishment to it. Numerous red blood cells and three white blood cells can be seen within the blood vessel.

B0003392 Credit Yorgos Nikas, Wellcome Images Human embryo exposing the embryonic cells Scanning electron micrograph of a human embryo at day 4. The protein coat surrounding the egg (zona pellucida, gold) has been slit to expose the embryonic cells inside (red). These cells go on to form the embryo and can be harvested and cultured to give rise to embryonic stem (ES) cells. Microvilli are visible on the surface of the embryonic cells (blastomeres) and numerous sperm (blue) are still visible on the outside of the zona pellucida.

B0003822 Credit Simon Beggs, Wellcome Images Pain and touch sensory fibres in DRG Section through a neonatal dorsal root ganglion (DRG) showing the cell bodies of different populations of sensory nerves. The red stains the myelinated A fibres that detect tactile sensations. The green stain is specific to peptidergic neurons – these detect pain and mediate neurogenic inflammation via the release of certain peptides both at the painful site and in the spinal cord. The blue stain is specific to the non-peptidergic pain neurons. Bundles of nerve fibres can also be seen within the ganglion.

B0006421 Credit Annie Cavanagh, Wellcome Images Breast cancer cells – A cluster of breast cancer cells showing visual evidence of programmed cell death (apoptosis).

B0003853 Credit Professor Alan Boyde, Wellcome Images Osteoporotic bone – fully focused image Scanning electron micrograph of osteoporotic bone. This sample shows the 4th lumbar vertebra of an 89 year old woman with osteoporosis showing very thin, and some fractured trabeculae. This SEM image has been reconstructed from a series of images in different focal planes to give a completely focused picture of the bone. This enables a much clearer picture to be gained of the osteoclast resorption activity within the bone. The field of view is 2.7mm wide.

1. Red Blood Cells They look like little cinnamon candies here, but theyre actually the most common type of blood cell in the human body – red blood cells (RBCs). These biconcave-shaped cells have the tall task of carrying oxygen to our entire body; in women there are about 4 to 5 million RBCs per micro liter (cubic millimeter) of blood and about 5 to 6 million in men. People who live at higher altitudes have even more RBCs because of the low oxygen levels in their environment.

2. Split End of Human Hair Regular trimmings to your hair and good conditioner should help to prevent this unsightly picture of a split end of a human hair.

3. Purkinje Neurons Of the 100 billion neurons in your brain. Purkinje (pronounced purr-kin-jee) neurons are some of the largest. Among other things, these cells are the masters of motor coordination in the cerebellar cortex. Toxic exposure such as alcohol and lithium, autoimmune diseases, genetic mutations including autism and neurodegenerative diseases can negatively affect human Purkinje cells.

4. Hair Cell in the Ear Heres what it looks like to see a close-up of human hair cell stereo cilia inside the ear. These detect mechanical movement in response to sound vibrations.

5. Blood Vessels Emerging from the Optic Nerve In this image, stained retinal blood vessels are shown to emerge from the black-colored optic disc. The optic disc is a blind spot because no light receptor cells are present in this area of the retina where the optic nerve and retinal blood vessels leave the back of the eye.

6. Tongue with Taste Bud This colour-enhanced image depicts a taste bud on the tongue. The human tongue has about 10,000 taste buds that are involved with detecting salty, sour, bitter, sweet and savory taste perceptions. Thai people have very few most killed by eating spicy food.

7. Tooth Plaque Brush your teeth often because this is what the surface of a tooth with a form of plaque looks like.

8. Blood Clot Remember that picture of the nice, uniform shapes of red blood cells you just looked at? Well, heres what it looks like when those same cells get caught up in the sticky web of a blood clot. The cell in the middle is a white blood cell.

9. Alveoli in the Lung This is what a colour-enhanced image of the inner surface of your lung looks like. The hollow cavities are alveoli; this is where gas exchange occurs with the blood.

10. Lung Cancer Cells This image of warped lung cancer cells is in stark contrast to the healthy lung in the previous picture.

11. Villi of Small Intestine Villi in the small intestine increase the surface area of the gut, which helps in the absorption of food. Look closely and you will see some food stuck in one of the crevices.

12. Human Egg with Coronal Cells This image is of a purple, colour-enhanced human egg sitting on a pin. The egg is coated with the zona pellicuda, a glycoprotein that protects the egg but also helps to trap and bind sperm. Two coronal cells are attached to the zona pellicuda.

13. Sperm on the Surface of a Human Egg Heres a close-up of a number of sperm trying to fertilize an egg.

14. Human Embryo and Sperm It looks like the world at war, but it is actually five days after the fertilisation of an egg, with some remaining sperm cells still sticking around. This fluorescent image was captured using a confocal microscope. The embryo and sperm cell nuclei are stained purple while sperm tails are green. The blue areas are gap junctions, which form connections between the cells.

15. Colored Image of a 6 day old Human Embryo Implanting itself onto the wall of the womb.

Comments (1)


January 15th, 2013 at 1:25 am    

Great pictures : ) Thanks!

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