ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lungs. Coloured computed tomography (CT) scan of an axial section through the thorax showing a healthy pair of lungs (orange). The backbone (dark blue) is at lower centre. The lungs are made up of airways terminating in tiny air sacs (alveoli). The alveoli are the site of gaseous exchange in the body. Oxygen from the air is taken up by the blood, and waste carbon dioxide is released by the blood to be exhaled. CT scanning uses a series of thin X-ray beams to build up slice images through the body. It is a useful diagnostic tool.
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