PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) showing a group of human red blood cells (erythrocytes). The mature cells are biconcave, non-nucleated discs: the cell nucleus & other organelles are discarded as the cell matures. They are packed with haemoglobin, the pigment associated with the distribution & transport of oxygen & carbon dioxide to & from the cells of the body. Erythrocytes are flexible & can accommodate themselves to the smallest of capillaries. Older cells - their lifespan is about 120 days - have a crenated appearance & will eventually be removed by the body's macrophage system. Magnification: x1300 at 35mm size.
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