September 23, 2016, via NPR
Here’s an interesting article by NPR about how computer scientists at the University of Kentucky were able to read a scroll that was radiocarbon-dated to the 3rd-4th century CE. The catch? The age and damage to the scroll prevented it from being opened, so instead the researchers used non-invasive x-ray micro-computed tomography (microCT) to create a 3D image of the scroll from which they could reconstruct the text. Co-author Seth Parker hopes the method will be applied to other ancient texts, including those recovered from Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Learn More @ NPR
September 19, 2016, via Nikon Imaging Center @ Harvard Medical School
We are very excited about the upcoming 15th anniversary of the Nikon Imaging Center at Harvard Medical School. We will be celebrating with an Optical Microscopy Symposium on November 1st, 2016. The event is open to the public but you have to register to attend at: nic.med.harvard.edu
Hurry as spots are filling quickly!
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September 15, 2016, via Outer Places
Black holes are typically perceived as vast and mysterious, but is it possible that microscopic black holes exist? Outer Places thinks so.
Learn More @ Outer Places
September 12, 2016, via Nikon Instruments
We are excited to announce our newest imaging solution – the DS-Fi3 color camera and accompanying DS-L4 tablet controller. Excitingly, the DS-Fi3 communicates directly with the DS-L4 tablet, eliminating the need for a computer workstation. Images can be acquired using the tablet and shared directly over a Wi-Fi network or shared network drive. We hope this new duo will provide a versatile and user-friendly solution for imaging in today’s fast-paced mobile environment.
Learn More @ Nikon Instruments
September 09, 2016, via NPG Asia Materials
Researchers have developed a new type of hydrogel for growing stem cells and differentiating them into neurons. These amyloid hydrogels are based on the alpha-synuclein protein, and provide an excellent vehicle for cell replacement therapies, useful for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. Cell and gel imaging was performed using a Nikon Eclipse Ti-U inverted research microscope. To learn more, check out the open access article.
Learn More @ NPG Asia Materials
September 06, 2016, via SMLMS epfl YouTube Channel
The 6th annual Single Molecule Localization Microscopy Symposium (SMLMS) at Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has concluded. We are proud to sponsor such an amazing symposium focused on bringing researchers in the field of single molecule super-resolution imaging together.
Part of the SMLMS is the software challenge – where researchers compare algorithms and software packages for analyzing STORM-type single molecule datasets acquired under a variety of different conditions. Check out the video on the SMLMS YouTube Channel to see the results!
Learn More @ SMLMS epfl YouTube Channel
September 05, 2016, via PHYS.ORG
One of the greatest problems in microscopy is resolving two closely spaced objects as separate, with the minimum distance previously thought to be fundamentally-limited by the diffraction of light. However, new research from the National University of Singapore utilizes modern advances in quantum-information theory to extract even more information from detected light. This new optical method – spatial-mode demultiplexing (SPADE) – also utilizes a specialized multichannel detector for separating the detected light by mode, capable of super-resolution.
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September 02, 2016, via Journal of Cell Science
Researchers at Emory University University have characterized the organization of the desmosome using direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM). Desomosomes are macromolecular junctions providing cell-cell adhesion. Using multicolor dSTORM, the organization of desmoglein 3, plakoglobin, and desmoplakin was quantified in keratinocytes. dSTORM successfully resolved the separation between the inner and outer dense plaque proteins. Imaging was performed using a Nikon N-STORM microscope, with correlative imaging performed using the Nikon N-SIM E structured illumination system on the same stand.
Learn More @ Journal of Cell Science
September 01, 2016
Dr. Tsien was a Professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. He is perhaps best known for discovering and developing green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a genetically expressed biochemical marker for use in living systems, which lead to a revolution in biological imaging.
August 31, 2016, via PHYS.ORG
We’re constantly amazed at the continuing advances in microscopy. Research at Penn State and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is pushing the resolving ability of electron microscopy to the tens of picometers – more than enough to see a single hydrogen atom. Such high power microscopes are a crucial tool for designing and building new materials, including specialized semiconductors, superconductors, and more. Check out the article to learn more.
Learn More @ PHYS.ORG
August 29, 2016, via Medical Xpress
Here’s a great article about a collaborative research team from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) that has identified two different groups of drugs for the treatment of Zika. One group of drugs prevents the virus from replicating in humans and the other protects developing brain cells in newborns. The researchers hope that by using existing drugs they’ll be able to address this global health emergency without waiting years for new drugs to emerge from the development pipeline.
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August 29, 2016, via Nature
The targeting of vesicles to the right target membrane is an early and important step in intracellular transport. New research has found that EEA1, a tethering protein that localizes to early endosomes, undergoes a conformational change from an extended form to a collapsed form upon interaction with Rab5:GTP. The change to the collapsed form provides force to pull the vesicle to the target membrane for docking and fusion. Confocal imaging was performed using a Nikon Ti-E inverted microscope with a Yokogawa CSU-X1 spinning disk, and super-resolution imaging with a Nikon N-STORM microscope.
Learn More @ Nature
August 26, 2016, via Medical Xpress
Scientists at the Salk Institute have achieved a major breakthrough in regenerative medicine – creating stable cultures of human kidney precursor cells for the first time. The cultured nephron progenitor cells (NPCs) can be used to grow replacement kidney tissue, both for research and therapeutic purposes. This approach could one day be used to grow entire human kidneys in the lab. Previous approaches used induced pluripotent stem cells, requiring time-consuming processes to make the same type of cells and with shorter shelf life.
Learn More @ Medical Xpress
August 25, 2016, via Bangor University
Most of us are accustomed to glass lenses on our microscopes. But new research from Bangor University and University of Oxford shows that spider silk can be used as a superlens – a lens with resolving power exceeding what is possible with conventional optics. The new spiderlens provides a 2x improvement in resolution over what is normally possible. Excitingly, spider silk is also an incredibly cheap, abundant, and robust material.
Learn More @ Bangor University
August 24, 2016, via The New York Times
Scientists have come up with a new method for rendering mice and other organisms transparent. Called uDISCO, this optical clearing method allows researchers to selectively highlight the inner workings of usually opaque organisms, lighting up the entire nervous system of a mouse for high-resolution single-cell fluorescence imaging. The authors believe the technique will one day be expanded from mice and rats to the mapping the entire human brain.
Learn More @ The New York Times
August 24, 2016, via Nature Communications
A new open-access paper in Nature Communications takes a closer look at near-infrared fluorescent proteins (IFPs) as optical markers and biosensors for multi-color and thick-specimen imaging. Near-infrared light is not as strongly scattered or absorbed by biological structures as visible wavelengths, making it ideal for deep tissue and in vivo imaging of larger organisms. The authors report 3 new IFPs, validating their utility for imaging, including multi-color Structured Illumination Microscopy with Nikon’s N-SIM system.
Learn More @ Nature Communications
August 23, 2016, via ScienceDaily
Fluorescence microscopy made it possible to study molecular processes in living cells. Now a Northwestern Engineering team has improved this groundbreaking technology by making it faster, simpler, less expensive, and increasing its resolution by four fold.
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August 22, 2016, via PHYS.ORG
In other news this week, scientists are using jellyfish proteins to create tiny lasers. For decades jellyfish-derived GFP (green fluorescent protein) has served as a go-to tool for lighting up different parts of the cell. It turns out that the structure of GFP also makes it a great gain medium for polariton lasers - a special type of low energy laser. Also, unlike existing polariton lasers, the new GFP laser doesn't need to be heavily cooled, operating at room temperature.
Learn More @ PHYS.ORG
August 20, 2016, via Nature Scientific Reports
Here’s a new open-access paper in Scientific Reports detailing the use of Hydrotalcite-like compounds (HTlc) as nanostructured interfaces that are biocompatible with astrocytes in vitro. The use of nanostructured interfaces allows researchers to exert control of cellular behavior at several different scales. HTlc films favor astrocyte differentiation by inducing vinculin polarization and F-actin fiber alignment. This was assessed in part by imaging immunofluorescence with Nikon ECLIPSE 80i and TE-2000U research microscopes.
Learn More @ Nature Scientific Reports
August 19, 2016, via Science Friday
There is a lot more to a handful of sand than meets the eye. Read more about one scientists passion for sand microscopy.
Learn More @ Science Friday