Tag Archives: microscopy

Microscopy Monday {No.5}

9 Apr

Potentially toxic filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaenopsis

Dr. Petr Znachor
Institute of Hydrobiology
Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Technique: Differential interference contrast

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Microscopy Monday {No.4}

2 Apr

An antique microscope slide of a thin section of diseased ivory. (15x)

Stephen Nagy is a psychiatrist and amateur microscopist who took this image specifically for entry into the contest. It shows how a disease process can alter structure of ivory, creating strange and beautiful evocative shapes, which lead to people imagining that they see something else in the image. The image was taken using standard polarizing light techniques, with crossed polarizing filters, a first-order red plate, and an additional compensating plate made of ordinary cellophane. Image-stitching technology though Adobe Photoshop that created this composite of sixteen separate exposures or images, seamlessly merging them into one image which shows much more of the ivory’s structure.

Image by Stephen Nagy.


Microscopy Monday {No.3}

26 Mar

Immature sperm in the spermatocyte stage of the crane flyNephrotoma suturalis. (60x)

Image by Rudolf Oldenbourg.

Microscopy Monday {No.2}

19 Mar

Cells from the trabecular meshwork of a pig’s eye. The trabecular meshwork assists in draining the aqueous humor, the fluid between the lens and the cornea, (20x)

Image by Carmen Laethem, Aerie Pharmaceuticals.

Microscopy Monday {No.1}

12 Mar

I’ve decided to start a tradition of Microscopy Monday, in an attempt to kick off the week with something amazing and beautiful. I hope you enjoy.

Mature neurons from a rat hippocampus that are being attacked by Alzheimer’s-related neurotoxins (100x)

Image by Pascale Lacor, Northwestern University.

Science Quickies: The Ocean In Space, High Tech Cows, and Racism Drugs

10 Mar

The largest, oldest body of water has been discovered. It lives in space. No, seriously. Space has oceans now. Beachfront resorts are coming soon.

My thoughts and support are with Phumeza Tisile, a Doctors Without Borders tuberculosis blogger who received some bad news this week.

NPR reports on Claudia, the high tech cow who produces 75 gallons of milk a day, as opposed to the 30 gallons by a normal cow. Moo.

In blood news, scientists have examined the crystal x-ray structure of full length human plasminogen, which provides insight on activation and conversion to plasmin.

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals raises $20M to progress cell transplant and cancer vaccine products.  Further proof that all a research scientist has to do is walk into a room and say “cancer,” and money will be thrown at them.

The Journal of Microscopy is offering their first issue of 2012 free online.

Propranolol, a beta blocker which has made the news often with its effective anxiety treatment, “abuse” in the musical performance community as a “performance enhancer,” and promise as a memory erasing post-trauma drug, is back in the news again, with claims that it can cure racism.

Electron Microscopy and Crochet Profanity

6 Mar

I got excited this morning when I saw this article on Science Daily, talking about a new advancement in electron microscopy which could produce the highest resolution images ever. I’m not as familiar with electron microscopy as I am with bright field and fluorescent, which are far more common in medical labs. But I do love microscopic images and art, and the concept of higher resolution images excited me.


Tom quickly killed my excitement.
“They didn’t discover a new method. They just rediscovered electron holography.”
“What? Three years and £4.3 million just to rediscover something that’s already been discovered?”
“That’s how science goes sometimes. They are the first to use the CCD in that way though. Dennis Gabor predicted this in the 1940’s, but the adequate technology didn’t exist at the time. It’s not as big of a break through as the headline would lead you to believe. Now let me teach you how to crochet.”

I recently decided I was going to learn how to crochet after Margherita made me the completely awesome Sir Jellyjoy. I have long admired her talent for making adorable amigurumi, and it inspired me to learn how to crochet so that I, too, can fill the world with cuteness. 10 minutes later and I am sitting in the middle of a coffee shop with a comically over-sized crochet needle, shouting colorful profanities at an evil bundle of orange yarn.

The demon yarn, laughing at my failure.

Tom: “You curse like a sailor. Actually, you curse like a scientist.”
Me: “Of course I swear like a scientist. Profanity is the reason why we don’t let little kids into science labs.”
Tom: “Right. It’s totally not because of all the hazardous chemicals and materials. Or the delicate experiments. Or all the fragile glassware.”
Me: “This isn’t working. The yarn is broken. How the hell do little old ladies do this?”
Tom: “The yarn isn’t broken.”
Me: “Of course it is. Look at this! How the hell did this kink happen?!”
Tom: “The yarn loop has different orientations.”
Me: “Like the different orientations of a molecule?”
Tom: “Chirality. Exactly.”
Me: “Oh. That makes more sense. Is there always this much profanity with crocheting?”
Tom: “Usually.”