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This image appears on the cover of Peter Gabriel's album New Blood. It appears to be a photograph of some microscopic biological cell. But it doesn't look like a blood cell to me. What kind of cell is it?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I would say it is a cell at the tip of a micropipette. $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 25 '14 at 11:36
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This is an embryonic stem cell on the tip of a needle photographed on a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The image was taken by Steve Gschmeissner, see here for the original.

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  • $\begingroup$ you can't be "Here's the source" for the best answer. I did a Google search for the image, and all I found were album covers. Thanks to the others who provided answers. $\endgroup$ – David Dubois Sep 25 '14 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidDubois I will improve the answer if you can tell me what you find missing here. I don't like to have this short answer, but what else can you write? $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 25 '14 at 20:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Chris The way I read it, David made a typo and was actually praising your answer: “you can't beat "Here's the source" for the best answer.” $\endgroup$ – svick Sep 25 '14 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ @svick Good point. :-) $\endgroup$ – Chris Sep 26 '14 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ @svick is right. Sorry. I meant to say that your answer can't be BEAT. :) I can't imagine any answer better than "Here's the source" $\endgroup$ – David Dubois Sep 26 '14 at 18:30
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This looks like a macrophage to me, which is a white blood cell. Try Googling "macrophage sem" to see similar images (SEM = scanning electron microscopy/micrograph).

The clue is the nature of the cell surface - those ruffles reflect the macrophage's role in engulfing foreign material. Indeed it is possible that some of the particles on the surface are bacteria which have been opsonised and are bound by the macrophage cell surface.

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In addition to Alan Boyd's answer of a macrophage, it could also be a T cell or B cell. Try doing an image search for lymphocyte SEM and browsing through the different cell types. While the traditional image of T and B cells has been of a smooth round blast cell, they actually have numerous projections, folds, etc. to aid in forming the immunological synapse.

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