Box Figure 3.1 B A scanning electron micrograph of the surface of the stigma from a flower of the mouse-ear cress, Arabidopsis thaliana, x200. (Electron micrograph by Daniel Scheirer)
While biologists utilize the SEM extensively, other types of scientists put it to work in diverse ways as well, whether looking at "moon rocks" brought to Earth by the Apollo astronauts or studying the impact craters created by micrometeorite projectiles striking the space shuttle's heat-resistant tiles. Recently, a textile technologist in England examined a piece of the frayed linen tunic of King Tut, the ancient Egyptian boy-Pharaoh whose tomb was discovered in 1922. Apparently, the tunic had either been washed about 40 times in water or had been washed less frequently in a solution of sodium carbonate, a chemical used to whiten as it cleans. Additionally, unlike the clothing of ordinary people, King Tut's tunic had few mends in it—not surprising considering the wealth of the deceased. The tomb was filled with golden treasures as well as wooden chests containing his clothes and footwear.
Whether used by biologists or material scientists, the scanning electron microscope provides a stunning view of the previously unseen, but nevertheless real, world. As the beauty of nature becomes seen for the first time in startling detail, micrographs do indeed become "microscapes."
48 Chapter 3
48 Chapter 3
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.