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

STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Blood clot. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of red blood cells (erythrocytes, red) clumped together with fibrin (brown) to form a blood clot. Magnification: x5000.

Activated platelets. When they encounter a damaged blood vessel they become activated and secrete chemical mediators, including serotonin, which cause the blood to clot. The mediators convert soluble fibrinogen to the insoluble protein fibrin. The resulting fibrin mesh traps platelets and red and white blood cells, forming a plug that seals the damaged vessel.

Image of the Week - December 16, 2013 CIL:39057 - www.cellimagelibr... Colorized scanning electron micrograph of the components of a blood clot. Kevin MacKenzie (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 UK)

Fertilisation. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a sperm (blue) attempting to penetrate a human egg (orange).

Blood clot, showing blood cells trapped in fibrin. SEM.

Human being. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human at the 16-cell stage on the tip of a pin. Yep, you once looked like that. :-)

Red blood cells and platelets. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of human erythrocytes (red blood cells, red) and a platelet aggregate (white).

The Cell (January 2011) How can cells grow and develop to form complex creatures? In this issue we explore the secrets of the cell. Our free poster shows a typical animal cell and reveals some surprising statistics. Order a copy or download [PDF].

Photograph of a blood cell attacking a pathogen. Taken with an electron microscope - Imgur