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Inside a Neuron by James Tyrwhitt-Drake

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About This Gigapan

Taken by
James Tyrwhitt-Drake James Tyrwhitt-Drake
Explore score
0.18 Gigapixels
Date added
Dec 28, 2013
Date taken
macro, nature

This colorized Scanning Electron Micrograph shows the internal structure of a single cell. This particular cell is a neuron in the cortex of a developing mouse embryo. The organelles which are common to all Eukaryotic cells are visible in different colors, which have been added after imaging in photoshop.

DNA is pink, and the nuclear envelope is purple. The round holes are nuclear pores that mediate transport of RNA and proteins between the nucleus and cytoplasm. The membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum are bright green. The ER and other parts of the cell are covered in membrane bound cytoplasmic proteins and ribosomes, which are blue. The golgi complexes are a dull green, their products, lysosomes and vesicles, are yellow. The mitochondria, which provide energy for the cell, are red. The outer membrane of the cell is turquoise. The connective tissue of the brain, composed of axons and dendrites, is light purple.

This sample was prepared with osmium maceration and freeze fracture by Dr. Patrick Nahirney. This method fixes the membranes of the cell and removes the cytoskeleton and other proteins. The sample is critical point dried to remove water, frozen with liquid nitrogen and cracked with a razor blade. This causes the tissue to break open and reveal the interior of cells and other structures.

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