STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Myelinated nerves. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a section through a myelinated nerve fibre (axon, beige, centre) from the sciatic nerve. Myelin (inner ring) is an insulating fatty layer that surrounds the nerve fibre, increasing the speed at which nerve impulses travel. It is formed when Schwann cells wrap around the fibre, depositing layers of myelin between each coil. The outermost layers consists of the Schwann cell's cytoplasm and is known as the neurolemma or sheath of Schwann. Magnification: x8000, when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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