Light micrograph of an array of marine diatoms, part of the algae family. Diatoms are microscopic unicellular organisms that occur abundantly in marine and freshwater plankton. They form the basis of the food chain. The body is composed of two halves, which fit together like a tiny pill box. The cell walls contain silica, which is preserved in deposits known as siliceous or diatomaceous earths (ooze). Once hardened into rock it is called diatomite. The high porosity of this rock enables it to be used for filters, fillers and as a mild abrasive. Magnification unknown.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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