electron microscope images

A single sheet of Graphene

This is the image of a single sheet of Graphene taken with a transmission electron microscope. Glorified in the image are the individual carbon atoms (yellow) on the honeycomb lattice.

For reference: The thickness of single layer graphene is ~0.345 nm !

Credit: Image courtesy of DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Butterfly eggs on a raspberry plant
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A micro-crack in steel
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Household dust
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Needle and thread
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E.coli bacteria on lettuce

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Beard hairs under a scanning electron microscope: cut with razor (left) and electric shaver (right)
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A moth wing
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Leaf of a Virginia spiderwort
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Shark skin

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under a magnification of 25,000X, this digitally-colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image depicts numerous filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from a chronically-infected VERO E6 cell (yellow-green).

Ebola is one of numerous Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates (such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. When infection occurs, symptoms usually begin abruptly. The first Ebolavirus species was discovered in 1976 in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Ebola River. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically. See the Flickr link for additional SEM NIAID Ebola virus imagery.

Produced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), this digitally-colorized scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image of a dry-fractured Vero cell revealed its contents, and the ultrastructural details at the site of an opened vacuole, inside of which you can see numerous Coxiella burnetii bacteria undergoing rapid replication. Please see the Flickr link below for additional NIAID photomicrographs of various microbes.

Infection of humans by Coxiella burnetii bacteria usually occurs by inhalation of these organisms from air that contains airborne barnyard dust contaminated by dried placental material, birth fluids, and excreta of infected animals. Other modes of transmission to humans, including tick bites, ingestion of unpasteurized milk or dairy products, and human to human transmission, are rare. Humans are often very susceptible to the disease, and very few organisms may be required to cause infection.

Copyright Restrictions: None - This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.


Koalas Have Human Like Finger Prints

Standard ink fingerprints of an adult male koala (left) and adult male human (right). Bottom row: Scanning electron microscope images of epidermis covering fingertips of the same koala (left) and the same human (right). 

Source: Macie Hennenberg, et al. and naturalSCIENCE


Art in Engineering Revealed

Many people think that applying science and math to real-world problems gives you engineering. That’s true, of course, and from the wide field of intellectual pursuit every year blooms seemingly physics-defying bridges, technologies that operate at the nanoscale, amazingly capable robots and vehicles that take us to space or the deepest depths of the ocean. But often lost in this utilitarian view of engineering is the fact that it can also give rise to a whole lot of art, too. 

The University of Cambridge’s engineering department saw the charm in its community’s work and put out a call for the most visually stunning images in a photography competition sponsored by optics maker Zeiss. Now the department has put them on display for us to ogle. 

“I love the way in which the essence of engineering can be captured in a single beautiful image – these intriguing works of art convey wonderful stories of determined engineers battling to crack real-world problems and finding the most elegant answers,” said department research director Philip Guildford, one of the competition’s judges. Read more below and see the video.

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Transparent Carbon Ribbons Keep Glass Ice-Free

Chemists have developed a clear coating for glass that can keep ice from forming on it. Their material is composed of tiny strips of the atom-thick sheets of linked carbon atoms called graphene and a thin topcoat of polyurethane to protect them.

The result is a see-through layer 250 times thinner than a human hair that heats when electricity is applied. The Rice University researchers say the graphene-packed material could be used on windshields, radar domes and building windows to prevent ice and fog from sticking. It also opens up the possibility of future windows with invisible graphene-based electronic circuits directly on or in the glass.

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A Micro-Portrait Of Alternative Energy: Solar Cells Up Close

False-colored scanning electron microscope image of a thin film solar cell that converts sunlight directly into electricity.

The picture highlights a type of semiconducting material–copper indium gallium diselenide, or CIGS–that is very efficient at absorbing solar radiation. Better absorption means the material can be layered on sheets of plastic or glass to make thin, flexible and more durable photovoltaic cells. In late September, researchers at Germany's Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research achieved a new CIGS solar-to-electric conversion efficiency world record of 21.7 percent, expanding the semiconductor’s lead over multicrystalline photovoltaic cells.

The horizontal width of the image is 320 microns. 

Image courtesy of Eberhardt Josué Friedrich Kernahan and Enrique Rodríguez Cañas, Wellcome Images. 

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Getting stem cells to turn into bone cells is all about the microenvironment - the network of proteins and polymers that surround the cells. Scientists studying this differentiation create artificial microenvironments with a jelly-like material called hydrogel. 

Scientists are constantly tweaking hydrogels – changing their stiffness and viscosity to make them better scaffolds for bone growth. The latest version, seen in these scanning electron microscope images, gets one step closer to recreating the microenvironment around bone fractures. (You can read all about it in the December issue of Nature Materials). The researchers hope to test the hydrogel in living bone to see if it promotes bone healing.

Image Credit: Harvard SEAS/Wyss Institute