DR. ANDREJS LIEPINS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. ANDREJS LIEPINS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scannning electron micrograph of two T-lymphocyte killer cells (small cells), attacking a large cancer tumour cell. T-lymphocytes, white blood cells, must make intimate contact with the tumour cell. They do so by recognizing antigens on the tumour's surface. Following contact the tumour cell undergoes distinct structural changes; loss of microvilli (small projections, lost here), perforation & ultimately death. The tumour cell may survive, however, by budding off a number of blebs or blisters, which form a protective barrier between itself & the lymphocyte, preventing further contact. Magnification: X 2,500 at 35mm size.
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