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pollen on a flower

Larger-Than-Life Pollen

Lodged on the head of a daisy, these spiky pollen grains were photographed at 2,200 times magnification using a portable scanning electron microscope that can be brought into classrooms. Dozens of students in Duke University’s Summer Academy for High School Students have used the microscope to create images of butterfly scales, microchips, even the tiny fibers in a Band-Aid, and make out structures hundreds of times smaller than the width of a human hair. The desktop SEM is available for events or classroom use through a partnership between NC State, UNC Chapel Hill and Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility.