Word around the scientific cooler is that the Scanning Electron Microscope (or SEM) can magnify images 250 times better than a light microscope. The expensive bit of kit valued up to 500,000 pounds blasts materials with a high-energy beam of electrons and the messages sent back build up a super-detailed image.

Retired scientific photographer Steve Gschmeissner gets to play with this high-tech toy and has produced some amazing close-up images of insects. Check out some of his shots after the jump.

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