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Skeletal muscle. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of skeletal (striated) muscle. The muscle is formed of bundles of muscle fibres. Each fibre is an extremely long, cylindrical cell. Running the length of each fibre are thin threads called myofibrils, which contain the proteins actin and myosin. These proteins slide over each other to allow the muscle to contract. The alternating bands of actin and myosin give the fibres a striped appearance. Skeletal muscle is attached to the skeleton and is under the control of the voluntary nervous system. Magnification: x480 when printed 10cm wide.
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