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Who cannot marvel at the beauty of moss – nature’s carpet?

Since a teen I have been in wonder of moss – of the thousands of varieties, of the glorious range of greens and its amazing habit of carpeting walls, trees and banks in a luxurious type velvet or ferny down.  So you can easily imagine my joy when I found out that scientists use it as a bio-indicator for measuring air pollution.

Here is a specimen of moss photographed using the scanning electron microscope, even at only forty times magnification it is a joy to behold.

The next photograph shows James, senior lab technician, putting the tiny piece of moss into the machine to cover it with a fine layer of gold particles to avoid any moisture, still present in the specimen, reacting with the electricity.

The last image shows the newly treated specimen being placed very carefully on the platform before being scanned.Imagejames-scan-electron-micro-WEBjames-electron-microscope-WEB