STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Myelinated nerve fibres. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through a bundle of nerve fibres containing a blood vessel (yellow). Each nerve fibre contains a central nerve cell axon (green) surrounded by an insulating fatty layer (myelin sheath, red). Myelin isolates the nerve from its surroundings, increasing the speed of nerve transmissions. Nerves collect, interpret and relay information, passing it to other parts of the body, such as the muscles and organs like the brain. Some endoneurial collagen fibres (purple) are also seen. This connective tissue helps to keep the fibres in a bundle together. Magnification: x1000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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