DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR GOPAL MURTI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Red blood cells. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a section through human red blood cells (erythrocytes). Red blood cells are biconcave, giving them a large surface area for gas exchange, and highly elastic enabling them to pass through narrow capillary vessels. The nucleus and other organelles are lost as the cell matures. Each cell's interior is packed with haemoglobin, a red iron-containing pigment which has an efficient oxygen carrying capacity. The main function of red blood cells is to distribute oxygen to body tissues and to carry the waste gas carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Magnification: x2,500 at 6x7cm size.
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