STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nerve fibres. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of parallel myelinated nerve fibres in the spinal cord. Each fibre consists of a nerve cell axon, the output process of a nerve cell, surrounded by a fatty insulating layer known as a myelin sheath. Myelin sheaths increase the transmission speed of the electrical nerve signals. Nerves in the body serve to collect, interpret and relay information. The fibres pass the information on to other parts of the body, such as the muscles and organs. The spinal cord, housed within the vertebrae of the backbone, links the brain to the rest of the body. Magnification: x650 at 6x7cm size.
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