STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Buccal smear. Light micrograph of a buccal smear. The cells which line the inside of thecheeks are classified as a stratified squamous epithelium and are the surface of a mucous membrane. These flat, scale-like buccal cells are shed constantly as the tissue is renewed. By gently scraping the inside of a cheek, these cells can be harvested, and when smeared and stained, may be used to illustrate a number of important biological phenomena including cell and tissue structure, oral bacterial flora ( dark brown dots) and morphology. Also known as buccal squamous cells, these are often collected for use in DNA profiling for criminal investigations. This involves analysing the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in the cells to see if it matches the DNA from samples found at a crime scene. Magnification: x500 when printed at 10cm wide.
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