Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Sample: A plant leaf.
Source: Some plant. I'm no botanist.

Spring is in the air! Well, spring is in the air in this part of the country, anyhow. To commemorate this momentous occastion, I present for your viewing pleasure the humble plant leaf. At first, it shows us the true glory of spring, with deep green cells refracting and reflecting applied light into little shimmering facets of white. Then, by careful application of science, we can boil it in harsh solvents (ethanol) and stain it with poisonous chemicals (iodine) to strip away the aesthetic obfuscations and reveal the nuclear secrets of the cell. (Hint - the secret is DNA)

Leaf, unstained. 10x.

Leaf, unstained. 60x.

Leaf, unstained. 200x.

Leaf, unstained. These are the "veins" of the leaf, that carry nutrients to the cells. 60x.

Leaf veins, unstained. 200x.

Leaf veins, unstained. Taken through cross-polarized filters to add contrast and a sense of mystery. 60x.

Leaf veins, unstained. 200x, polarized light.

Leaf, bleached and stained. 10x.

Leaf, stained. 60x.

Leaf, stained, 60x.

Leaf, stained. 200x. The little black spots are the cellular nuclei.


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