Light micrograph of assorted freshwater diatoms. The rectangular, broken filaments seen here are simple colonies. They consist of a chain of diatoms which have failed to separate following cell division, each glued to its neighbours by a mucilaginous material. Diatoms are a group of single-celled algae distinguished by their intricately-patterned glass-like cell wall or "frustule". The frustule consists of two halves, the valves, which fit together like the lid and bottom of a box. Diatoms form an important component of the marine & freshwater plankton. Magnification x400 at 35mm size.
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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