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False-colour transmission electron micrograph of unactivated blood platelets & some red blood cells (bottom left). Platelets (thrombocytes) are small, non-nucleated cells formed in the bone marrow and found in circulating blood. Unactivated platelets are oval in shape and 2-3 micrometres in diameter. Activated platelets have dendritic processes or pseudopodia. Platelets function in 2 ways; they help plug small defects in the walls of small blood vessels and they are involved in clotting and the release of serotonin, a compound which reduces blood flow by constricting the damaged vessels. Magnification: x12,000 at 6x7cm size.
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