Retina rod cells, SEM

Retina rod cells, SEM

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Retina rod cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a freeze-fractured section through a retina, revealing the structure of its photoreceptors. Photoreceptors with these rod-like outer parts (blue) are named rod cells (rather than cone cells) and contain the protein rhodopsin (visual purple) that aids vision in dim light. The inner parts (orange) lead to the nuclei (purple, top). Empty spaces in this layer show Muller cells that provide a fibrous support for photoreceptors. Light triggers signals in the photoreceptors after passing through a neuron layer (above nuclei, not seen). These signals travel to the neurons and on to the brain. Magnification: x3000 at 6x7cm size.

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