Alder tree pollen grain. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a pollen grain from an alder tree (Alnus glutinosa). A pollen grain contains a male sex cell from a flowering plant. Millions of pollen grains are produced by each flowering plant. In the process of pollination, some of these pollen grains are transported to the female reproductive parts of a plant. This allows the female and male sex cells to combine during the formation of a seed. Alder trees are fast-growing deciduous trees found mostly in the temperate areas of the northern hemisphere. Magnification x4000 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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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