PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of macrophages from the lung of a person suffering from asbestosis, a lung disease caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres; one is seen impaled on an asbestos needle. Normally, foreign particles in the lungs are engulfed (phagocytosed) by the macrophages (mobile scavenger cells). Asbestos needles, however, are virtually indestructible and puncture the macrophages, destroying them and releasing their contents onto surrounding tissue.Asbestosis is lined with the development of mesotheliomas, cancers of the pleural membranes that surround the lungs. Magnification: x980 at 35mm size.
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