CLOUDS HILL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CLOUDS HILL IMAGING LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured chest X-ray showing the heart and diaphragm during breathing. The diaphragm is the dark area at bottom. It is a sheet of muscle at the bottom of the rib cage, which contracts to increase the volume of the thoracic cavity, drawing air into the lungs. When it relaxes it returns to its original position, pushing air out of the lungs. The lungs are largely transparent to X-rays, while the ribs and spinal column are prominent. The beating heart is at centre right.
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