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Ciliary body, SEM Featured SEM Image

Ciliary body, SEM

Ciliary body. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through an eye to show a partial view of the structures of the front of the eye, as seen from within the eyeball. The ciliary body (across upper and centre frame) forms a ring between the iris (lower centre) and the choroid (the inner surface of the eyeball). The iris (green) surrounds the pupil (out of shot off bottom). The ciliary body joins to ligaments that hold the lens in place behind the iris. The lens has been removed here. The ciliary body also contains the ciliary muscle that is contracted to alter the curvature of the lens and focus light on the retina. Magnification: x20 at 6x6cm size

© Steve Gschmeissner/Science Photo Library

Spores of field horsetail Featured SEM Image

Spores of field horsetail

False colour scanning electron micrograph of spores of the field horsetail, Equisetum arvense. The horsetail is the only living type of a primitive family of plants, the Sphenopsids, that were predominant at the formation of the coal measures. The vegetative stems are produced from underground rhizomes & the leaves are reduced to toothed sheaths at the leaf joints. Fertile shoots bear conelike sporangia, carrying the spores, which in this species appear in Spring. The picture shows moist spores bound tightly by their elators, or bands of thickened cells. As the spores dry out, the elators unfurl, tossing the spores out of the sporangium. Mag: X 114 at 35mm. Original is BW print b450/025

© DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCEPHOTO LIBRARY

Human egg cell and sperm cells, ESEM Featured SEM Image

Human egg cell and sperm cells, ESEM

Human egg cell and sperm cells, coloured ESEM(environmental scanning electron micrograph).There are three sperm cells (brown) attempting tofertilise the egg cell (ovum, blue). Once one ofthe sperm cells has fertilised the egg cell, rapidchemical changes make the outer layer ( zona pellucida ) of the egg cell thicken, preventing anyof the other sperm cells entering it. The head ofthe successful sperm cell releases geneticmaterial that mixes with the genetic materialin the egg cell. The resulting zygote then has thefull set of genes required to develop into a newhuman. The sperm cell ( spermatozoon, male) and theegg cell ( ovum, female) are the human gametes (reproductive cells). Magnification: x680 whenprinted 10cm wide

© Thierry Berrod, Mona Lisa Production/Science Photo Library