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47.5 x 31.5 cm ⏐ 18.7 x 12.4 in (300dpi)
ANNE WESTON, FRANCIS CRICK INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANNE WESTON, FRANCIS CRICK INSTITUTE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Images not to be used by the tobacco industry.
Cervical cancer cell, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The cervix, or neck, is the lower part of the womb, and comprises part of the woman's reproductive system. One of the main causes of cervical cancer is a persistent infection of certain types of human papilloma virus (HPV). This is a HeLa cell, a cultured cell line that was derived from a biopsy of a cervical tumour from Henrietta Lacks who died of cervical cancer in 1951 aged 31. HeLa cells are an immortal cell line which means that they are able to divide perpetually. HeLa cells also grow easily and rapidly in culture which, along with their immortality, makes them ideal for many areas of biological, medical and molecular research. This cell has long extending filopodia like structures. Filopodia contain actin filaments and can have roles in numerous processes including cell-cell interactions, cell migration or as a sensory guide towards a chemoattractant (a chemical agent that induces a cell to migrate towards it).
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