Answer to the Friday Whatsit for July 2, 2010
Congratulations to my sister April for correctly guessing this week’s Friday Whatsit. For a geologist, you sure know your plant fibers. I guess that stint in forestry did you some good.
This is an image of a Kimwipe at 100x normal size. Kimwipes are the soft cleaning wipes we use to clean off slides before we put them on the microscope. Lens paper, used to clean the microscope objectives, looks similar, as does Kleenex, paper towels and printer paper.
What do all of these products have in common? They are all made from wood pulp. The paper fibers give the sample its stringy appearance, and the fluorescent glow of the naturally occurring plant compounds (chlorophyll, carotinoids, etc) give it the color.