Science Is Beautiful, a new book by Colin Salter, is a compilation of images that show what the human body looks like under a microscope. With an artistic eye, the book showcases cells, microbes, and more. Here are some of our favorite images from Science Is Beautiful.

Microglial White Blood Cell

The microglia are in charge of defending the nervous system from bacteria and other disease. They use those branch-like pseudopods to attack and digest any bad microorganism that comes their way.

Avian Flu Virus

H5N1, or the bird flu, is transmitted from birds to humans. It’s pretty common among southeast Asian bird populations, but luckily the serious respiratory disease doesn’t often spread among humans.

Tumor Blood Vessels

Tumors, uncontrolled tissue growths, come complete with their own sets of blood vessels. These blood vessels found in intestinal tumors are formed irregularly, rather than the uniform fashion of normal intestinal blood vessels.

Liver Cells

This close-up shot of two liver cells shows all the organelles within the cells. The green things are the mitochondria, which produce energy for the cell.

Serotonin Crystals

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found mainly in the digestive system. It does a lot for the body: It regulates mood, sleep, and appetite, helps with clotting, and aids the learning process.

Melatonin Crystals

Melatonin is a hormone made in the brain that helps you fall asleep. It’s often taken in pill form as well to give the body an extra push toward rest.


At first glance, this bacteriophage looks like an insect. But it’s a microscopic virus that has just attached itself to an E. coli bacterium (in blue).

Ventolin Crystals

Salbutamol sulfate is a drug used to treat asthma that goes by the brand name Ventolin. It acts like adrenaline to relax muscles around constricted airways and relieve daily asthma.

Science Is Beautiful

To get more microscopic views of the human body, check out the book–available on Amazon and other book retailers. [Hardcover: $25]