I bought a new microscope with planachromatic objectives. They have a superior image quality to non-plan objectives. With the crisp and clear images I can get from my new microscope, I decided to make a post with images and videos of human cells and tissue.
Sperm Under A Microscope
This is the most interesting and fascinating thing I’ve looked at under a microscope!
When I first tried this experiment, I hadn’t focused correctly on my slide of semen. I think was focused on the outside of the coverslip or something like that. I was panning around looking for something. I went up to the 100x objective, but I couldn’t find anything.
At first I thought that maybe the spermatozoa were too small to see with a microscope. But then I adjusted the focus the right way, and suddenly an eyeful of spermatozoa burst into view! Holy mackerel, was it exciting! Those are my little swimmers there!
I felt a little guilty. I mean, they were all going to die. Oh well, I’ve killed a heck of a lot more than that over the years.
What you are seeing is a bunch of spermatozoa in various stages of development. Some are fully mature. Others still in undeveloped stages. Those little round things you see occasionally are white blood cells.
One spermatozoon carries the male half of the genes to the female ovum. If it’s fast and lucky, it forms a gamete with the ovum, and becomes a human embryo.
The female ovum only carries X chromosomes. If the sperm cell carries an X chromosome, the embryo becomes an XX female. If it carries a Y chromosome, it becomes an XY male.
Blood Under A Microscope
One of the most interesting things to look at are red blood cells under a microscope. When I first looked at my red blood cells under a microscope, I noticed that they stacked together quite a lot. They looked like stacks of coins.
I looked it up, and it turns out it’s a phenomenon called roleaux. If it happens too much, then you have a problem which can cause lack of oxygen to be transported to the cells in your body. Roleaux can occur from various infections and cancer. I think it can occur from B12 shortage or absorption issues. It occurs if you get dehydrated. It occurs when you get a common infection such as a cold.
Seeing my cells stacked like that, I cut down on coffee and increased my intake of water. Now when I look at my blood, the blood cells aren’t stacking as much
To look at your blood under a microscope, add a small drop of blood to an even smaller drop of water on a slide, and place the coverslip over the slide. The result should be a very pale looking mix of blood and water. If you don’t add water, the result will just be a wall of red.
At 100x magnification (10x objective), it starts to look interesting. You can see individual red blood cells with gaps of water between them.
At 40x objective magnification, you can make out the donut shaped red blood cells clearly.
At 100x objective magnification viewed with oil immersion, you can see each red blood cell clearly. You can see them bumping around as they flow. They are moving because they’re in a water medium, and slight vibrations on the desk move the water slightly. Also the water is evaporating, which causes flow in the water.
Human Hair Under A Microscope
I tried using my USB microscope to take a cross section of a human hair to look at. I’ve never seen anyone do that. It would be unique. Unfortunately, a hair is impossibly small to work with. So I just looked at it from the outside. You’ll see my images are of a couple of sliced up hairs. That was my failed attempt at getting a cross section. You try it. It’s bloody difficult!
Human Tongue Under A Microscope
I scraped my tongue to collect some human tongue cells. I scraped some papillae from the back of my tongue and smeared the cells onto a slide. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be. Believe it or not, it was nearly as exciting as my sperm. You’ll see why.
The smear was yellow and gross. The papillae themselves were huge. You can see how big they are in the pictures below.
Now it gets interesting. When I increased the magnification, to my astonishment I saw little critters living in my spit! Look at them swimming around.
Man, I need to brush more! Those little jerky worms are bacteria living the good life in my mouth. There’s a whole ecosystem on the back of my tongue! This is why I get gingivitis. I need to put an end to their fun.
Human Eye Under A Microscope
I placed my handheld USB microscope against my eye, and took some pictures. I was only able to get low magnification with it. I don’t know why. I just wasn’t able to focus at high magnification. Anyway, the pictures are quite interesting. I quite like how the eyelashes look under a microscope.