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Ruptured venule. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing stacks (rouleaux) of red blood cells exposed inside a torn venule. A venule is a very small blood vessel in the microcirculation that allows deoxygenated blood to return from the capillary beds to the larger blood vessels (veins). Red blood cells are the most abundant cell in the blood. They have no nucleus and are about 7 micrometers across. Magnification: x2300 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

SMALLEST CELL: Mycoplasma. The pink circles are a type of bacterium only 0.1 μm in diameter (0.0001 mm, or about 0.0000039 inches).

Optic nerve fibres. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of axons from the optic nerve. Connective tissue fibres (thread-like) are also visible. The optic nerve visual information from the retina in the eye to the brain. Magnification: x2000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.

Iris pigment epithelium. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through the iris of an eye, showing the iris pigment epithelium (IPE). The IPE is a layer of cuboidal cells (pink) that lies behind the iris. Each cell contains numerous large melanosomes (blue), which contain the pigment melanin. The concentration of this melanin is one of the factors that determine the colour of a person's eye. Magnification: x3,300 when printed 10 centimetres wide.

Blood clot formation showing trapped red blood cells or erythrocytes in fibrin. SEM X920

MRSA (red), colored SEM, shown here on the microscopic fibers of a wound dressing.

Fungus can be beautiful. Aspergillus flavus under the microscope

For this multidisciplinary installation project infusing visual art with natural science, San Francisco-based artist Klari Reis used petri dishes and reflective epoxy polymer to capture electron microscopic images of the natural (and unnatural) cellular reactions that take place in nature.

Purkinje cells, some of the largest neurons in the brain, from a mouse at 40-times magnification.

SARS virus particles Electron microscopy of numerous SARS virus particles (red) in a host cell. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a fatal lung disease that first appeared in China in 2002. The SARS virus is a coronavirus.

Hugo de Vries (1848-1935). “Jonge vacuolen. Adventieve vacuolen”. Source: ici.

Ernst Haeckel, Kunstformen der Natur (1904), Tafel 14