BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BIOPHOTO ASSOCIATES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of myelinated nerve axon showing myelin layers: axon embedded in Schwann cell. Peripheral nervous system nerves consist of axons enveloped in specialized metabolic and support cells (Schwann cells). Larger axons are wrapped in concentric layers of Schwann cell plasma membrane (the myelin sheath, here in purple). The rate of conduction of nerve impulses (action potential) is proportional to axon diameter. Myelination greatly increases axon conductivity velocity. Magnification: 35,000x when printed at 5x7'.
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