Interpretation of Microscope Observations

  • Ervin H. Barnes


Artifacts. Some of the things we see in the microscope are not a part of the original structure of the living specimen but are artifacts. An artifact is a product of man’s workmanship. Workmanship may bring to mind the craftsmanship of the Eskimo’s polar bear carved out of walrus tusk or the graceful gazelle of African ebony. Man’s workmanship also includes the embedding, sectioning, and staining of tissues for microscope observations. The effects of these manipulations often produce distortions and color changes which are not characteristic of the tissues when alive. In order to interpret what we see and to understand the structure of living tissues, we need to know what artifacts are and what makes them.


Microscope Observation Serial Section Longitudinal Section Original Structure Dehydration Process 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ervin H. Barnes
    • 1
  1. 1.Michigan State UniversityUSA

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