Friday, February 8, 2008

Inner ear of a chicken embryo

Here's another beautiful scientific image. It's by Andrés Kamaid, from the Developmental Biology Unit of CEXS-UPF, and it shows a 20 µm (twenty-thousandth of a millimetre) section of the chicken inner ear, the sensory organ responsible for the perception of sound and equilibrium, at seventh day of development. The image shows the hair cells (red), and the innervating fibres (green) that connect them with the brain. Hair cells are depolarised by sound and release neurotransmitters to the fibre endings, which in turn propagate impulses to the central nervous system. The nuclei of the cells are stained in blue.

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