Medicinal leech egg cocoon

Medicinal leech egg cocoon

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This image is part of the feature Biotherapy

Credit: LOUISE MURRAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Medicinal leech egg cocoon. Egg cocoon of the medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis) on a 50 pence coin. Leeches are parasites that feed on blood. They attach themselves to the skin using suckers (centre) and create a wound with three sharp jaw plates, which contain over 600 teeth. Their saliva contains hirudin, a chemical which prevents blood from clotting. A normal wound may bleed for up to 20 minutes before clotting, but a leech wound can bleed for up to 10 hours. Leeches are used in modern medicine to drain blood from haematomas (accumulations of blood) and to draw blood into transplanted tissues until circulation is established. Photographed at BioPharm Ltd, Wales, UK.

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Keywords: 50 pence, 50p, alternative medicine, animal, antibacteria, antibacterial, antibiotic, anticlotting, anticoagulant, antiseptic, bio-therapy, biological, biology, biopharm, biotherapy, blood sucker, bloodsucker, britain, british, cocoon, coin, egg sac, fauna, healing, hirudin, hirudo medicinalis, invertebrate, invertebrates, leech, leech therapy, medical, medicinal leech, medicine, money, nature, one, parasite, parasitic, single, skin graft, surgery, surgical, traditional medicine, treatment, uk, united kingdom, wales, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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