STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Skin section. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through human skin. A hair (red) is protruding through the surface. The top layer of the epidermis is the stratum corneum (cornified layer, light brown). It is comprised of dead, keratinised flattened skin cells, which are continuously sloughed off and replaced with new cells from below. The living layer of the epidermis (dark brown) is called the Malpighian layer. This layer contains cells called melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin. This pigment darkens the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, producing a suntan. Magnification: x55 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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