D. PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY D. PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Red blood cells. Coloured Scanning Electron Micro- graph (SEM) of normal human red blood cells (erythrocytes). These are the most abundant type of cell in the blood. They are rounded and flattened into a biconcave shape, an adaptation which provides the maximum surface area for the exchange of gases. The principal function of red blood cells is to distribute and transport oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body. As the cell matures the nucleus and other internal organelles are lost, and it becomes filled with haemoglobin, a red iron-containing pigment with an efficient capacity to carry oxygen around the body. Magnification: x1350 at 5x7cm size.
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