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Calendar . Subjects 2012

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Green-Striped Swallowtail (Papilio palinurus)

Papilio palinurus belongs to the impressive Swallowtail butterflies or Nymphalidae. The surface of a wing scale displays very fine veins. The inside of this scale is made up of many layers of chitin that have an exactly defined, same distance to each other. If light hits on it, a strong, green iridescence originates from interferen-ces inside the scale.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 33,000:1
Medicine: Lung: Bronchial cells

A fracture through the tissue of the ciliated cells of the human lung is shown (Tunica mucosa). These ciliated epithelia line the whole bronchi of the lung. In rhythmic motion the ciliaea of these cells transport inhaled dirt particles, together with separated mucus, from the lung in the direction of the trachea.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 50,000:1
Medicine: lung: Alveolarmacrophages

There are 5 Alveolarmacrophages (gray) to be seen in the left half of the picture. These cells of the immune system move amoeba-like detecting inhaled foreign bodies in the bronchioles and pulmonary alveoli (gr.: macro= big, phagos=devourer). The yellowish colored cells are single epithelium cells equipped with ciliated epithelia.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 11,000:1
Botany: Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana)

The Cape gooseberry is often shortly named Physalis after its botanical genus name. In English known as Golden berry (South Africa, U.K.), Cape gooseberry or Giant ground cherry. In the picture the middle of a weather-beaten paper-like husk is to be seen. There was the red berry, reminding one of a small tomato. The native country of the Physalis is South America.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 130:1
Botany: Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqua)

The carob tree is a timber native to the Mediterranean region and the Near East. Here the surface of the leaf with a hair and pores (stomata) is shown. The hard wood is processed for parquet, fences and the like. The fruits serve as food. Dried and grounded carob powder originates from it, which can be used like cocoa. Locust bean gum is extracted from the seeds, which is used as a thickening agent (E 410).

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 1.600:1
anthrax infectious agent (Bacillus anthracis)

The bacterium Bacillus anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax. It is primarily a disease of sheep, goats, cattle, etc., but is communicable to humans. The bacteria are immobile rods, which after division remain connected at the ends and can in this way ´push´ their way through the substrate. They are extremely heat-resistant in dry conditions, and die only after an hour at 150°C. By inhibiting the defensive cells of the body, the bacteria can reproduce in the tissue and make their way into the bloodstream. The anthrax causative agent gives off various toxins that lead to the formation of oedemas.
In humans, infection is generally through skin lesions and inhalation. At the point of entry in the skin a red pustule with a black centre forms some hours after infection. Pulmonary anthrax begins suddenly with a shivering fit and a high temperature, and if not treated leads to death. If treated with penicillin, the lethality rate drops to 50% (in the case of cutaneous anthrax 0%).

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 80:1
Zoology: Water Bear (Echiniscus granulatus)

The Water Bear Echiniscus granulatus is a vegetarian. It pierces moss cells and sucks them out. The Water Bears, lat. Tardigrades, are as small as 0,1 bis 1,5mm, and occur over the entire world: in the Arctic, high mountain regions, the tropics and in the sea to the deep sea. It is noteworthy that the animals can fall in a dry stiffness in which no vital functions are verifiable (cryptobiosis). They are able to survive in this state for years, while awaking again within a few minutes by moistening.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 700:1
Botany: Common Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

A semen of the common Agrimony. From the dusted blossoms of the common Agrimony grow barbed fruits. The fruits get stuck in the fur of roaming big mammals and are spread about big distances (epichory). The blossoms are modestly designed flowers. They allure hoverflies, flies, and honey bees to pollination with their plentiful pollen offer.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 270:1
Arum plants, Taro (Colocasia esculenta)

Taro is a domesticated plant, which has been cultivated as a food plant for more than 2000 years. The leaves of the Taro plant are extremely liquid-repellent due to their wax layer and a special microstructure. This `Lotus effect` (or self-cleaning property) is used in facade paint (bionic). The picture shows a fracture through a leaf with the ground tissue parenchyma (light green), the spongy parenchyma (beige) and the vascular bundle (gray) clearly to be recognized.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 850:1
Egg of a Water Bear (Echiniscus granulatus).

The eggs of most Water Bears are protected from external influences by a bizarre covering. Like the adult animals the eggs are able to survive for many years until they hatch at optimum environmental conditions.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 20,000:1
Biotechnology: Bakers Yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae)

In nature the Saccharomyces yeast appears mainly in fruits and juices of plants. Cultural yeasts, mostly phyla of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are used in the food and luxury production, e.g. as leaven in bakery products, for the production of alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, brewing yeast) and alcohol. Genetically changed they serve to the enzyme production and biotransformation.

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 2,500:1
Insects: Eye of a Mosquito

The eye of a mosquito consists of several dozens of single eyes, attached to each other like honeycomb. Every single eye perceives a small cutting of the whole field of vision, the sensory impressions of the single eyes are processed in the brain to a general view. A mosquito can perceive quick movements much more clearly than a human being (up to 300 pictures/sec, person 60 pictures/sec).

Scanning Electron Microscope, magnification 1,500:1
© copyright O. Meckes & N. Ottawa, eye of science
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