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The technique for taking x-ray pictures of cells, tissues, or sometimes the whole animal or plant, if it is a small one. Soft x-rays, those with low penetrating power and relatively long wavelengths, are required for this type of picture. The best pictures are obtained when the tissues contain deposits of metallic elements which have a high absorption capacity for x-rays.
In applying the technique to tissues, a relatively thin section is placed against an x-ray film and irradiated with a beam of x-rays. When the film is developed, a picture of the object or section of tissue shows on the film. Another method attempts to focus the x-rays after they pass through the specimen.