Bacterial capsule. Transmission electron micrograph (TEM) through an unidentified skin bacterium encased in a capsule (black). Inside the cell wall at the centre of the bacterium's grainy cytoplasm is a mesosome, an artificial structure (artefact) caused by the TEM fixation. The thick capsule or slime layer (glycocalyx) is a slimy or gummy material secreted by many bacteria onto their surfaces. It can help the bacterial cell to attach onto host cells it is infecting. It may also serve to protect the bacterium from immune cells such as phagocytes. Magnification x125,000 at 8x10 inch 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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