Inner ear hair cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of sensory hair cells from the inner ear. These cells are surrounded by a fluid called endolymph. As sound enters the ear it causes waves to form in the endolymph, which in turn cause the hairs to move. The movement is converted to an electrical signal that is passed on to the brain. Each crescent-shaped arrangement of hairs lies atop a single cell.
Brain tumour. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a glioma, a type of tumour that arises from glial cells of the central nervous system. The most common site for gliomas is the brain. They can be either low or high-grade, with the latter having the worse prognosis. Magnification: x8000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide. Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER
Fat tissue. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a sample of fat tissue, showing fat cells (adipocytes, blue) surrounded by fine strands of supportive connective tissue. Adipocytes are among the largest cells in the human body, each cell being 100 to 120 microns in diameter. Almost the entire volume of each fat cell consists of a single lipid (fat or oil) droplet. Adipose tissue forms an insulating layer under the skin, storing energy in the form of fat, which is obtained from…
Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of cancellous (spongy) bone of the human shin. Bone tissue is either compact or cancellous. Compact bone usually makes up the exterior of the bone, while cancellous bone is found in the interior. Cancellous bone is characterised by a honeycomb arrangement of trabeculae. These structures help to provide support and strength. The spaces within this tissue normally contain bone marrow, a blood forming substance. Credit: SCIENCE SOURCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lung cancer cell division. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a lung cancer cell during cell division (cytokinesis). The two daughter cells remain temporarily joined by a cytoplasmic bridge (centre). Cancer cells divide rapidly in a chaotic, uncontrolled manner. They may clump to form tumours, which invade and destroy surrounding tissues.
Colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) cells from a human mouth. The many blebs (lumps) and microvilli (small projections) on the cells' surfaces are typical of cancer cells.