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False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of human skin, showing a hair penetrating the outer layer of squamous cells that comprise the epidermis. The hair is covered by a modified cellular layer known as the hair cuticle; these cells are highly flattened & partially overlap one another. The epidermal cells are composed of the protein keratin, which provides a tough, uninterrupted covering over the body surface; keratin serves as a waterproofing material & is impermeable to many disease organisms. Magnification: X 340 at 35mm size.
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