STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spinal cord. Light micrograph of a cross-section through the spinal cord. The spinal cord consists of a butterfly-shaped core (cyan) known as grey matter, which consists of nerve cells. Surrounding the grey matter is a larger region of white matter, made up of myelinated nerve fibre bundles or tracts. It is the white matter which is largely responsible for transmitting impulses. The cord extends from the stem of the brain to vertebrae of the lower back; 31 pairs of nerves arise along its length, carrying information to and from the brain and body. Magnification: x10 when printed at 10cm wide.
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