Growth cone from a developing neuron, SEM

Growth cone from a developing neuron, SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cortical brain neurons (nerve cells) growing in culture, scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Neurons have a large cell body and send out a growth cone to establish themselves in culture. Eventually several long processes will develop, usually one thick axon and several thinner dendrites. The axon carries nerve impulses away from the neuron. Its branching ends make contacts with other neurons and with muscles or glands. The highly branching dendrites receive information from other neurons. This complex network forms the nervous system, which relays information rapidly through the body. Neurons are (also known as nerve cells) are cells of the nervous system that are specialized to carry messages through an electrochemical process. Magnification: x6,000 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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