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Calendar . Subjects 2011

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Viruses and bacteria: Rotavirus and Escherichia coli.

Rotaviruses are the pathogens of diarrhoea (gastroenteritis) in babies and toddlers. They are passed on by smear infection (faecal-oral). Escherichia coli is a widespread intestinal bacterium. Both bacterium and virus originate from one stool sample.

Transmission Electron Microscope, magnification 240,000:1
arachnids: velvet mite (Trombidium holosericeum).

In this picture a detail of the skin with hair is shown that gives the velvet look to the animal. Mites are counted among the arachnids systematically as they possess four pairs of legs. The native red velvet mite (Trombidium holosericeum) is approx. four mm long and lives in upper soil layers. It feeds on insect eggs, the larvae like to parasitize butterflies and leaf beetles as well as other insects.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 4,000:1
Botany: Hibiscus, stamina and pollen

There are a few pollen grains on an opened stamina. The pollen of this plant are prickly and have a mucous layer when they are fresh. Thus they cling much better to insects ingesting nectar from the blossom. The pollens are carried from blossom to blossom with the help of insects.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 330:1
Viruses: HIV, formation

The picture shows the formation and the discharge of HIV-viruses from a host cell. Some mature cells are already outside the cell (beige). The released HIV particles (virus particles) are not infectious (free viruses with a round core, red) at first. It is the deformation from sphere shell to conical inner body only, i. e. the morphological maturing, which produces an infectious virion (two viruses in the very top of the picture).

Transmission Electron Microscope, magnification 240,000:1
Insects: bugs, lady bird (Harmonia axyridis).

The picture shows the larvae of the Asian lady bird feeding on plant lice. This species originally came from Japan and China and was brought to Europe for biological pest control at the end of the 20th century. Meanwhile Harmonia axyridis appears wildly in huge numbers and it can be feared, that endemic species of lady bird as well as others may be eliminated.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 120:1
Botany: lotus (Nelumbonaceae)

Lotus is an aquatic plant with peltiform leaves. The leaves of the lotus are extremely liquid-repellent because of a special microstructure and a wax layer (removed here). Thus the surface remains always clean and neither fungi nor other organisms can settle on them. This Lotus effect is used, i. e. in exterior paints (bionics).

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 5,200:1
Biology: cell division

This picture displays two adenocarcinoma cells during their nearly completed cell division. In the first step the chromosomes are duplicated (replicated). The cell grows and the chromosome pairs are drawn apart. Only now the cell starts its division by constriction and two nuclear membranes are formed around them. Adenocarcinomas can result from mucous cells of the mucosa.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 10,000:1
Insects: jumping plant lice (Psylloidea), Cacopsylla picta

Cacopsylla feed on leaf juice at fruit trees. They can transmit plant diseases (bacterially and virally) by puncturing the leaves and sucking from them. Seen from above the compound eyes, antennae, the three ocellae (single eyes), and the characteristic pattern can be clearly made out on head and front.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 270:1
Zoology: insects, silk moth (Bombyx mori)

The wings of the moth are covered with fine scales which come off easily when being touched. It can be clearly seen that the scales are fixed by peduncles in the dents (deepenings) of the wing area. The silk moths that are bred for the silk production are flightless moths.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 2,100:1
Medicine: lungs, pulmonary alveoli (Alveole)

In the lungs the gas exchange of our organism takes place. CO2 is being emitted, O2 is being absorbed. The picture displays the transparent wall of a pulmonary alveola. The capillary, in which red blood cells crowd to absorb oxygen, can be clearly perceived.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 1,800:1
Bacteria: Proteobacteria, Burkholderia pseudomallei

Burkholderia pseudomallei moves by using flagella. It is endemic in the ground and waters of Southeast Asia and North Australia. B. pseudomallei is the agent of Melioidosis, which may appear as pneumonia, septicemia, and skin infections.

Transmission Electron Microscope, magnification 120,000:1
Botany: hibiscus, gland hair

Here a multi-cellar gland hair on a hibiscus leaf is displayed. Essential oils are stored in this hair to put off predators. Hibiscus is native to warmer tropical regions, but is often used as an ornamental plant in north and middle Europe.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 2,600:1
© copyright O. Meckes & N. Ottawa, eye of science
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