Protoplast. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a tobacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum) protoplast. A protoplast is a plant cell that has had its tough outer cell wall removed by chemical treatment. This leaves an intact cell with its contents surrounded by its plasma membrane. The cell wall can later be regrown. The dimples on this protoplast are due to contraction of the outer membrane during drying. Each dimple corresponds to the position of a chloroplast. Protoplasts are used instead of intact cells in plant genetic engineering as they are easier to manipulate. Magnification x3600 when printed 10 centimetres tall.
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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