Monday, March 28, 2011

Pollen Grains Under Microscope

Pollen or dust allergy is a nasty thing. Itching, swelling, runny nose are common. The worst of the affected can even succumb to seizures. But pollen grains are also the medium of reproduction in plants and under the microscope you can but only appreciate the beauty of it. This gallery features false-color scanning electron microscope pictures of pollen grains like you have never seen before.

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of grass pollen grains, a major cause of hay fever

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of a pollen grain from a birch tree, which is highly allergic. Birch tree pollen is transported by the wind, and so is light with a smooth, non-sticky surface to aid its dispersal over distances of thousands of kilometres.

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of an alder tree pollen grain, a major cause of hay fever

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of a pollen grain from a chickweed flower

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of a pollen grain from a flowering horse chestnut tree, a major cause of hay fever

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of hellebore pollen grains

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of pollen grains from a cucumber plant

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of artemisia pollen grains. Artemisia is a type of mugwort and a major cause of hay fever

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a timothy grass pollen grain

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A false-colour SEM of a plantain pollen grain

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of pollen grains from the small-leaved lime which, if caught in the wind, can be a major cause of hay fever

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of common ragweed pollen grains

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of daisy pollen grains

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A false-colour scanning electron micrograph of two cocksfoot grass pollen grains

Photos: EYE OF SCIENCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / BARCROFT MEDIA

Story: Telegraph

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