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The skin barrier is fundamental to terrestrial life and its evolution; it upholds homeostasis and protects against the environment. Skin barrier capacity is controlled by lipids that fill the extracellular space of the skin's surface layer-the stratum corneum. Here we report on the determination of the molecular organization of the skin's lipid matrix in situ, in its near-native state, using a methodological approach combining very high magnification cryoelectron microscopy (EM) of vitreousdoi:10.1038/jid.2012.43 pmid:22534876 fatcat:fuyflhzjuzesvo4ys6owxuy4ju