Nettle's stinging hair

Nettle's stinging hair

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Credit: J.C. REVY, ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Polarised light micrograph of a single stinging hair on the surface of a leaf of a stinging nettle, Urtica sp. . The stinging hairs are long and bear silicified tips which break off when the nettle is brushed against or stroked. The sting penetrates the skin, injecting a mixture of acetylcholine & histamine. The former is a neuro- transmitter substance normally produced at nerve terminals, the latter a chemical mediator responsible for many of the unpleasant symptoms of allergic reactions. The result is a burning sensation, itching & redness. Magnification unknown.

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Keywords: botany, hairs, leaf, leaf hair, leaves, nature, nettle, plant, plants, polarised light micrograph, stinging hair, stinging nettle, urtica sp.

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