MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of human striated muscle seen both in cross section (left) & longitudinal section (right). Skeletal muscle cells are long, hence their description as muscle fibres. Each fibre has several nuclei spaced at intervals along it. Both parts of this micrograph show that these dark-staining nuclei are positioned at the edge of the cell. Running the length of each fibre, barely visible in the longitudinal part of the section, are contractile proteins arranged in thin threads called myofibrils. More prominent is the banding across the fibres, caused by myofibrils being composed of alternating light & dark sections. Magnification: x140 at 35mm size. Reference: MICROCOSMOS, Figure 2.26, page 28.
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