Looking at the World through a Microscope (Part I)
When you get bored of looking at the world with your own eyes, why not look at life through a lens (a microscopic one, that is). It seems that there are two worlds – the world of huge things that we see every day and the invisible world of incredibly small things. Thanks to electron microscopes, we can finally see this world for ourselves. These types of microscopes can render ants huge and even make a sheet of plain paper seem interesting.
Just looking at the micro-world takes our breath away — it’s incredibly rich, beautiful, and active. Seeing the perfectly straight lines of snowflakes up close is mindblowing. I’ve heard that after looking at the smallest corners of our world even science people see a god here. I could go on and on, but you just have to see these electron microscope images for yourself. Happy scrolling, and don’t forget to check out part 2!
Red Blood Cells Under An Electron Microscope
(Bamboo leaf for Annie Cavanagh, Scanning electron micrograph Wellcome Images)
(Bamboo leaf for CDC/Janice Carr)
This image from a scanning electron microscope shows a few red blood cells (a.k.a. erythrocytes) that have been magnified over 11,000 times. Being biconcave in shape allows red blood cells to have a greater surface area and carry more oxygen through your body.
DVD Disc Close-up
Blood Clot Forming over a Wound
(Bamboo leaf for David Gregory&Debbie Marshall, Wellcome Images)
“A Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a blood clot, with squamous tissue visible beneath. As a blood clot on a surface injury dries out, it forms a protective scab over the wound allowing new skin to grow underneath.”
Electron Microscope Image of An Ant
“For all those people who have ever wondered what an ant’s bottom looks like close up… It doesn’t look any better than his face, to be honest.”
Monarch Butterfly Wing Under A Microscope
Fly Eye — Microscope vs Electron Microscope
Image taken by a scanning electron microscope of the Drosophila Fly’s Eye.
The structure of the eye, similar to many other insects, is termed a compound eye and is one of the most precise and ordered patterns in Biology.
Snowflake Up Close
Johannes Kepler, the 17th-century astronomer and mathematician, observed snowflakes up close and realized that each is unique but always has six sides. His studies on convex lenses eventually led to the first compound microscope being developed in 1628.
Dandelion Magnified 248x
The fluffy part of a dandelion seed that floats around in spring. (248x magnification)
Smiley On LCD Screen Up Close
Paper Under A Microscope
(Bamboo leaf for Jim Ekstrom)
“Paper thas a rough tangle of fibers and jagged edges — it’s no wonder that it’s easy to get a paper cut!”
Fat Cells Under A Microscope
(Bamboo leaf for David Gregory&Debbie Marshall)
Electric Guitar String 80x
(Bamboo leaf for Scott Frankowski, UW Oshkosh)
Sperm Under A Microscope Fertilizing an Egg
(Bamboo leaf for Yorgos Nikas)
“The sperm has fused to the egg cell membrane (oolemma) prior to becoming incorporated almost completely into the egg. The zona pellucida has been removed in this preparation. The surface of the egg is covered with dense microvilli. Once the sperm has fused to the egg cell membrane the “zona reaction” takes place which prevents other sperm from entering the egg.”
Split End of a Human Hair
(Bamboo leaf for Liz Hirst)
“Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of the split end of a human hair showing the outer cuticle layer surrounding the inner cortical layer.”
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