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False-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the surface of human skin, showing two hair shafts penetrating the outer layer of squamous cells that comprise the epidermis. The hairs are covered by a modified cellular layer called the cuticle of the hair: 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: x160 at 35mm size, x320 at 6x7cm size.
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