A crystal of the hormone progesterone is shown, magnified 40x. Progesterone occurs naturally in some animals and in some types of yams. It can also be synthesized. Newscom
A photomicrograph of an etch pattern on quartz crystal is shown, magnified 36x. Quartz is the most common mineral in the Earth's continental crust. Quartz has piezoelectric properties; it develops electric potential upon mechanical stress. These properties are used in common quartz clocks. Newscom
A photomicrograph of a cross section of a buttercup flower stem is shown, magnified 55x. The round structures are cell walls, the tough outer layer of plant cells that provide the plant with structural support. Newscom
A photomicrograph of organic liquid crystals under polarized light is shown, magnified 50x. Liquid crystals are used in display technology (LCDs) for watches, computer screens, televisions, and electronics. Liquid crystals can exhibit properties of both liquids and solid crystals, and when viewed through a microscope using polarized light, different liquid crystal phases, or alignment patterns, appear to have distinct texture. Newscom
A photomicrograph of the Pilobolus crystallinus fungus is shown. This species of fungus can shoot its spores up to three feet away, adhering them to vegetation. Together with bacteria, fungi are responsible for the decay and decomposition of all organic matter and are found wherever other forms of life exist. Newscom
A photomicrograph of a hummingbird feather shaft, barbs, and barbules is shown, magnified 25x. From the hollow shaft grow barbs, the thicker blue branches, and from the barbs grow barbules. In feathers used for flying, like this one, barbules from neighboring barbs attach to each other. Newscom
A photomicrograph of low molecular weight polyethylene is shown. Polyethylene is a plastic used in products like shopping bags, bottles, pipes, cutting boards, toys, and cable coverings. Newscom
A photomicrograph of mixed diatom shells is shown, magnified 36x. Diatoms are one of the most common types of phytoplankton in the world. Diatoms may have existed since the early Jurassic Period, approximately 200 million years ago. Newscom
A photomicrograph of a salt crystal is shown, magnified 5x. Newscom
A photomicrograph of algae, Gloeotila protogenita, is shown, magnified 10x. Algae are a very plentiful and diverse group of organisms that produce their own energy photosynthetically, like plants. They are found all over the world, usually in bodies of water. Newscom
On Friday Spain's Catalonia region voted to give their leader the power to call a secession referendum. Inspired by Scotland's vote on indpendence, European separatists are seeking the same chance.
ByAlan Clendenning and Joseph Wilson, Associated Press
Despite Scotland's decision to reject independence, lawmakers in Spain's Catalonia region voted overwhelmingly Friday to give their leader the power to call a secession referendum that the central government in Madrid has denounced as illegal.