STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Skin. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through human skin. The top layer is the stratum corneum (flaky), a cornified layer of the epidermis that is composed of flattened, dead skin cells that form the surface of the skin. The dead cells from this layer are continuously being shed and replaced by cells from the living epidermal layer below (across centre). The lowest layer seen here is the dermis. This is a thick layer of fibrous connective tissue that supports and nourishes the epidermis. The skin is the body's largest organ, accounting for around 15% of the body's weight.
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