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Fields & Applications Forensics, Microscopy, Spectroscopy

Image of the Month: Ancient Amphibian Autopsy

A combination of scanning electron microscopy and synchrotron rapid-scanning X-ray fluorescence has revealed the most anatomically detailed structures of fossilized frogs to date. Fossilized melanosomes – the cellular repositories of the pigment melanin, in addition to a variety of different metal ions – proved to be the perfect biomarker.

Credit: Fossil photograph copyright the Natural History Museum, London. X-ray fluorescence map copyright Valentina Rossi.

Reference: V Rossi et al., “Tissue-specific geometry and chemistry of modern and fossilized melanosomes reveal internal anatomy of extinct vertebrates”, Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A, [Epub ahead of print] (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1820285116

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About the Author
Jonathan James

Having thrown myself into various science communication activities whilst studying science at University, I soon came to realize where my passions truly lie; outside the laboratory, telling the stories of the remarkable men and women conducting groundbreaking research. Now, at Texere, I have the opportunity to do just that.

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