$2 Million Grant for Live Microscopy

Mai 13, 2009

A proposal by a team of UC Davis (University of California, US) scientists to develop the first electron microscope capable of filming live biological processes has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The team’s plan is to extend the capabilities of a powerful new imaging tool called the dynamic transmission electron microscope or DTEM. These instruments can snap 10 to 100 images per millionth of a second, while capturing details as small as 10 nanometers. If they can be adapted to living, moving systems, DTEMs could achieve resolutions 100 times greater than currently attainable for live processes, enabling scientists to observe and record biological processes at the molecular level. Currently, there are only three DTEMs in use worldwide, none of which are designed for observing living systems. Rather, they are utilized to document such processes as inorganic chemical reactions and the dynamics of materials as they change from one state – solid, liquid or gas – to another.

Live Cell Imaging at Double the Resolution

Mai 6, 2009

A team of researchers of the University of Georgia (UGA) and the University of California, San Francisco, US has developed a microscope that is capable of live imaging at double the resolution of fluorescence microscopy by using structured illumination. The research was published in Nature Methods on April 26, 2009. “What we’ve done is develop a much faster system that allows you to look at live cells expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP), which is a very powerful tool for labeling inside the cell,” explained UGA engineer Peter Kner.

New Type of Imaging: Fastest Camera

Mai 4, 2009

Researchers at the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles, US) Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have developed the serial time-encoded amplified microscopy (STEAM) technology. It is a novel, continuously running camera that enables real-time imaging at a frame rate of more than 6 MHz and a shutter speed of less than 450ps – roughly a thousand times faster than any conventional camera. Keisuke Goda, Kevin Tsia and team leader Bahram Jalali describe a new approach that does not require a traditional CCD (charge-couples device) or CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) video camera. The new imager operates by capturing each picture with an ultrashort laser pulse. It then converts each pulse to a serial data stream that resembles the data in a fiber optic network rather than the signal coming out of the camera. Using a technique known as amplified dispersive Fourier transform, these laser pulses, each containing an entire picture, are amplified and simultaneously stretched in time to the point that they are slow enough to be captured with an electronic digitizer. Those cameras could be used for observing high-speed events such as shockwaves, communication between cells, neural activity or laser surgery.

3D in 12 Days

April 30, 2009

During June, 13-25, the 14th annual Living Cell Course will take place at the University of British Columbia Medicine School (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. This residential course concentrates on all aspects of the 3D microscopy of living cells. Designed for biological research scientists and advanced graduate students, who apply – or plan to – modern 3D imaging, the course want to open up-to-date methods to a wider selection of scientists. The aim of this intense course is to bring students and manufacturers together. The course’s topics include amongst others scanning systems like AODs, mirrors and disks, deconvolution of wide-field and confocal data, dye design, poisson noise QE and S/N, calcium imaging, as well as “how to keep cells alive”.

Vancouver, Canada (sorce: pixelio.de)

Vancouver, Canada (sorce: pixelio.de)


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