JOHN BURBIDGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BURBIDGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Skin of black African. Light micrograph of a section through black skin, showing the dermis (bottom), basement membrane (red folded layer), epidermis (purple), and keratinised surface (top). The basement membrane and lower epidermis contain pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) that are highly active in black skin. These cells produce the pigment melanin, which spreads through the epidermis giving a dark colour. The upper epidermis consists mostly of dead cells toughened by the protein keratin to form a hard, protective layer. The dermis consists of living connective tissue containing blood vessels and sensory nerve cells. Magnification x240 at 6x9cm size.
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