Life in Microcosmic World

Yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti
Colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a mosquito–the blood-
sucking insect that spreads yellow fever, dengue fever and filiariasis.
The parts ofthe mouth that the mosquito uses to pierce the skin of
its victims are shown at the left. Only female A. aegypti mosquitoes
carry the arbovirus which causes yellow fever in humans. Affected
patients develop a fever and the skin becomes yellow due to jaundice.
Yellow fever was once a fatal infection throughout the tropics but now
occurs only in parts of tropical Africa and South America.
Magnification: 50 X.

Itch mite (Sarcoptes spec.)
Colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of an itch mite on the surface
of the skin. In humans, this parasite causes scabies, an ailment typified
by severe itching (especially at night), red papules and often secondary
infection. The female mite tunnels in the skin to lay her eggs and the
newly-hatched mites are passed easily from person to person by physical
contact. The itching is caused by an allergic reaction to the mite's saliva
or feces. Commonly infected areas are the groin, penis, nipples and the
skin between the fingers. The condition is treated with hexachlorophene
or benzyl benzoate creams. Magnification: 300 X.

Bakteria: Helicobacter pylori
Colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM). This pathogen of chronically
active gastritis and intestinal ulcers was discovered in 1983. The bacteria
are wound in a spiral shape and possess up to 7 flagella. H. pylori populates
the mucosa of the human stomach exclusively. It is diagnosed by a stomach
biopsy or a Urea Breath Test. Treatment of the infection involves the
administration of anti-microbial substances combined with bismuth salt over
the course of 14 days. Transmission of the infection seems to take place by
mouth to mouth contact. Magnification 9.000 X

Contaminated apple
Colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of mould fungi (green)
and yeast (single-celled fungi, blue) in a crack on the surface of an
apple. Fungal spores that have landed on the exposed flesh have
germinated, thriving in the sugary environment. Yeast ferments sugars,
producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. Magnification 1.100 X

Microsurgical clamp
Colored Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of a clamp used in microsurgery
on the brain. Measuring only .63 millimeters in diameter, it is used for the
removal of small tumors. The clamp is made of a nickel-titanium alloy and its
sheath (yellow) is made of polytetrafluoro-ethene (PTFE) plastic. Springs keep
the jaws of the clamp open (as seen here) when it is not in use. The jaws are
closed by sliding the plastic sheath over the clamp. Magnification: 34 X.

Colored Scanning Electron Micrograph (SEM) of nylon hooks and loops
in Velcro material. Used as a common fastener on clothes and shoes,
Velcro is a nylon material formed into two different structures: one a nail-
head-like surface, and the other a smooth surface made up of a series
of loops. The loops are loosely woven strands among an otherwise
tight weave. When the two surfaces are brought together they form a
strong bond, but can still be pulled apart. Magnification: 50 X.

Using revolutionary cameras, the directors of this French film (with minimal English-language narration) have made an amazing chronicle of the insect world. There are at least a dozen fascinating, memorable images, and the carnage is held to a minimum. Some favorites include a caterpillar traffic jam, a frog's bout with a rain storm, and a bird that turns into Godzilla for a bunch of ants. Then there's the snail mating scene that must be seen to be believed. Great for families.

Everything readers ever wanted to know about deadly viruses, killer parasites, flesh-eating microbes, and other lifethreatening beasties but were afraid to ask

What disease, known as "the White Death" has killed 2 billion people, and counting?

What fatal disease lurks undetected in air conditioners and shower heads, waiting to become airborne?

How lethal is the Ebola virus, and will there ever be a cure for it?

How do you catch flesh-eating bacteria?

Source : Eye of Science

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