Microscope image of an organism with sticky filaments?
February 28, 2011 6:55 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find (I think) electron microscope images of a certain type of organism. I know basically what it looks like, but I have no idea what it's called.

Basically, I've seen an image, either from a normal microscope or from an electron microscope, although it might actually be an artistic interpretation, of some sort of microorganism clinging to a surface or some other particles/cells by way of some filaments that end in sticky "lumps" on the surface. For want of a better reference, it looked somewhat like the Venom parasitic suit in Spider-Man 3 (when being pulled off). I thought it might have been a fungus, but searching google images brings up nothing quite like it.

Can anyone help me find out what this was? I'm just looking for an image as a reference for a project, so low resolution or copyrighted images work fine.
posted by Joakim Ziegler to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
 
No idea what the suit looks like, so this is just a wild guess, but bacteriophages have filaments and cling to the bacteria they're munching on.
posted by Ahab at 7:21 PM on February 28, 2011


I'm having a hard time picturing exactly what you mean but the filaments thing made me think of macrophages.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 7:22 PM on February 28, 2011


Was it an attached cell?
posted by Mapes at 8:37 PM on February 28, 2011


Both the macrophages and the attached cells are similar, although the filaments I'm visualizing in my head were thicker, more like the whole thing was a gooey blob. For some reason, the image I keep remembering, which I think I've seen several times, is of this blob attached in the intersection of three flat planes, definitely man made, just sitting in a corner.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:28 PM on February 28, 2011


Oh, and the blob itself was roughly spherical.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:30 PM on February 28, 2011


This is pretty similar.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:31 PM on February 28, 2011


The dendritic cell is similar to a macrophage, and is known for it's dendrites (hence the name-sake), which can look like filaments (see filopodia).
posted by kisch mokusch at 1:01 AM on March 1, 2011


Thicker blobs sounds a lot like filopodia or maybe lamellipodia, but single cells aren't generally fans of getting stuck in corners.

Not exactly it, but there's a couple pictures of cells' filopodia attaching to more manmade-type objects available via the Chen lab webpage. (If you have online access to an academic library and those are along the lines of what you'd find compelling, I've got several bazillion references showing similar types of things. Not finding a bunch that are publicly available, alas.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:30 AM on March 1, 2011


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