DR YORGOS NIKAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR YORGOS NIKAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human egg. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a human egg with cumulus corona cells. The rounded egg or oocyte (yellow) has a spongy surface layer. This layer, known as the zona pellucida, serves to protect the egg and to attract sperm for fertilisation and allow them to attach. Around part of the egg are cumulus corona cells (pink) which serve to support and nourish the developing egg in the ovary, forming a "corona radiata" (radiating crown) around the egg. When the egg is released from the ovary, as here, some corona radiata cells remain attached to the egg but fall away after fertilisation. Magnification: x550 at 6x7cm size.
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