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Blood clot. Coloured Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a human blood clot caused by an injury or disease. The clot consists of threads of fibrin, an insoluble protein. These form a mesh which traps blood cells and seals the damaged blood vessel to prevent bleeding. Blood clots are triggered by chemicals released either by platelet cells in the blood or by tissue cells at the injury site. These chemicals begin a complex series of chemical reactions in the blood which result in the formation of fibrin. An abnormal clot (thrombus) can occur in intact blood vessels, and is the principal cause of heart attack and stroke. Magnification: x4750 at 6x6cm size.
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