☝ preliminaries
CORPORIS FABRICA
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PLATE № 96091207253

Arthur E Smith focuses images on his early apparatus for photomicrography.

Simply obtained by photographing images upon the microscope’s eyepiece, the images produced became the focal point (pun not intended) of the 1909 book Nature through Microscope & Camera by Richard Kerr.

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PLATE № 96004912267

A bundle of neural axons within a developing mouse brain.

Each axon is given its colour by genetically added fluorescent proteins. When each is a different hue, they can be viewed together to create this striking effect which is not unlike a bundle of wires in appearance. In principle, this isn’t a strange thought; after all, both neurons and wires are in part electrically insulated structures which carry signals from place to place. 

Photograph and pioneering work by Tamily Weissman. Read more here.

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PLATE № 95917581585

A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of phagocytosis in progress.

Phagocytosis (translating rather wonderfully to ‘devouring cell process’) is the system by which this macrophage (red) is able to engulf and thereafter destroy Mycobacterium tuberculosis (yellow) as well as other threats to your body’s health. 

Macrophages, after engulfing the offending entity, drag it forcibly into a specially formed compartment within the cell. Inside, they are subjected to a formidable array of chemical attacks that render the target dead within minutes. 

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PLATE № 95829020380

post-mitotic:

microscopic bone marrow transplant — hematopoietic stem cells (the immortal source of both red and white blood cells) poised in a syringe for transplant

colored SEM composite image

credit: Steve Gschmeissner

Note the ‘cut-off’ edge of the needle which gives its point an asymmetrical tip; a sharper piercing edge than if it were purely elliptical. 

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PLATE № 95739256140

Above: normal cardiac silhouette 

Below: cardiac silhouette indicating cardiomegaly due to Chagas disease.

Having a big heart outside of the idiomatic sense is not usually a good thing. 

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PLATE № 95644653795

hic-est-scientia:

An old, gold-plated endoprosthesis of the knee joint. On the left, the femur cap is visible, while the right component is fitted into the tibia.

This prosthetic knee joint was ill-fitting and causing pain and discomfort for the patient, as well as being quite outdated. It was removed and replaced by a newer model composed of titanium, a tougher and sturdier material, which allowed for more stability and comfortable movement.

The prosthesis currently in place owes its lustrous appearance to the fact that it is plated with gold. This is not due to a need for surgically implanted swag, but rather for gold’s extreme resistance to corrosion, erosion and high biocompatibility which make it suitable for implants such as these. 

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PLATE № 95553093754

Using a centrifuge, it is possible to separate blood into three main fractions. 
Although we are used to thinking of blood as a simple fluid, it is in fact a suspension of cells, debris and more within a carrier fluid. 
The uppermost and clear yellow layer pictured is that fluid: plasma. This is the majority of what makes up human blood - plasma constitutes about 55% of its volume - of which 95% by volume is pure water. 
The central layer of opaque white is known as the buffy coat. This fraction is comprised mainly of white blood cells and platelets. 
Finally, the lowermost fraction is made up of the all-important red blood cells; erythrocytes. These cells are responsible for oxygen’s transit around the body, and give blood its striking colour. 

Using a centrifuge, it is possible to separate blood into three main fractions. 

Although we are used to thinking of blood as a simple fluid, it is in fact a suspension of cells, debris and more within a carrier fluid. 

The uppermost and clear yellow layer pictured is that fluid: plasma. This is the majority of what makes up human blood - plasma constitutes about 55% of its volume - of which 95% by volume is pure water. 

The central layer of opaque white is known as the buffy coat. This fraction is comprised mainly of white blood cells and platelets. 

Finally, the lowermost fraction is made up of the all-important red blood cells; erythrocytes. These cells are responsible for oxygen’s transit around the body, and give blood its striking colour. 

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PLATE № 95465198447

A broken wrist with a wedding ring.

A radiograph of the hand of one Mrs F. Bridgeman, 1911. The comparatively high density of the metal in the wedding band causes it to appear black against the grey phalanx bone which it encircles.

Courtesy of Wellcome Images.

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PLATE № 95376356621

A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of an opened artery containing red blood cells.