PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing two macrophages impaled on an asbestos needle in a case of asbestosis, a lung disease (one of the pneumoconioses) caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres. 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 into the lung tissue. Asbestosis is lined with the development of mesotheliomas, cancers of the pleural membranes that surround the lungs. Magnification: x1260 at 35mm size.
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