Safe drinking water is a privilege in North America. Though essential to good health, it is often taken for granted. It is delivered to our homes or offices for our enjoyment with little thought given to where it originated or how it got there. We expect water to come forth as required. We expect water to both look and taste good. And we
Coloured scanning electron microscope (SEM) of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (yellow) on human nasal epithelial cells. These gram-positive cocci (spherical bacteria) are adhering to mucus (blue) on the hair-like cilia which protrude from the epithelial cells. S. aureus is very common in humans, living harmlessly on the skin and in the nose, throat and large intestine.
An electron microscope catches the immune system blooming into action. A white blood cell (red) wraps itself around a mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of most cases of tuberculosis. Phagocyte, as a white blood cell is known as, comes from the Greek word phagein (to eat), and that's what the cell does, rendering the infectious cell benign.
One of the ten finalists in the 2012 New Scientist Eureka Prize for Science Photography. This image, 'Another Day in the Life of Arabidopsis', shows a small, six-day-old seedling of Arabidopsis thaliana under a scanning electron microscope and captures the essence of seed germination, the tiny and delicate beginnings of a plant. The image has been artificially coloured to resemble the natural colours of the living seedling. Photo: Mark Talbot