Human fingernail surface, SEM

Human fingernail surface, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Human fingernail surface, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The human fingernail is composed of structured keratin layers are dead keratinized epithelial cells produced by the mitotic division of epithelial cells in the nail bed. The dead cells are linked firmly together by keratin attachments forming a hard protective translucent layer. Nails grow at an average rate of 3 millimetres a month. It takes about 6 months for a fingernail to grow from base to tip. Deep transverse grooves that form across the nails often indicates illness or a deficiency. Keratin is a protein that is also found in skin and hair. A similar process occurs in the growth of a hair from its follicle. Magnification: x100 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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