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Spinning-disk microscope offers window into a cell’s core

October 10, 2013 8:24 am | News | Comments

The microscopic technique, developed by researchers at Queen Mary Univ. of London, represents a major advance for cell biologists as it will allow them to investigate structures deep inside the cell, such as viruses, bacteria and parts of the nucleus in depth.

Scientists use blur to sharpen DNA mapping

October 7, 2013 8:12 am | News | Comments

With high-tech optical tools and sophisticated mathematics, Rice Univ. researchers have found a way to pinpoint the location of specific sequences along single strands of DNA, a technique that could someday help diagnose genetic diseases. Proof-of-concept experiments in the Rice laboratory of chemist Christy Landes identified DNA sequences as short as 50 nucleotides at room temperature.

New kind of microscope uses neutrons

October 4, 2013 8:06 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working with partners at NASA, have developed a new concept for a microscope that would use neutrons instead of beams of light or electrons to create high-resolution images. Among other features, neutron-based instruments have the ability to probe inside metal objects to learn details of their internal structure.

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Research first: TEM performs 3-D dynamic imaging of soft materials

October 3, 2013 8:05 am | News | Comments

Autumn is usually not such a great time for big special effects movies as the summer blockbusters have faded and those for the holiday season have not yet opened. Fall is more often the time for thoughtful films about small subjects, which makes it perfect for the unveiling of a new movie produced by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Seeing through silicon

October 3, 2013 7:35 am | by Anne Trafton, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Univ. of Texas at Arlington have developed a new type of microscopy that can image cells through a silicon wafer, allowing them to precisely measure the size and mechanical behavior of cells behind the wafer. The new technology, which relies on near-infrared light, could help scientists learn more about diseased or infected cells as they flow through silicon microfluidic devices.

Study of helium ion beam exposed nanostructures by in situ AFM

October 2, 2013 12:02 pm | by Nils Anspach and Frank Hitzel, DME Nanotechnologie GmbH, Endré Majorovits and Fabián Pérez-Willard, Carl Zeiss Microscopy | White Papers

In a new white paper from Carl Zeiss Microscopy, scientists from DME Nanotechnologie GmbH and Zeiss demonstrate the power of the AFM/SEM combination found in the Zeiss Merlin series microscopes for the analysis of helium ion beam exposed nanostructures.

Researchers develop new type of fluorescent camera for blood diagnostics

September 27, 2013 8:32 am | News | Comments

Inspired by how wireless communication networks use multiple radio frequencies to communicate with multiple users, researchers from the Univ. of California, Los Angeles have developed a new high-speed microscopy technique that is an order of magnitude faster than current fluorescence-imaging technologies.

Sensor provides new approach to molecule detection on silicon surfaces

September 25, 2013 8:14 am | News | Comments

A team from Queen’s Univ. has found a way to “feel” the surface of silicon molecules at the molecular level. This new “sense of touch” could mean a solution to the long-standing problem of producing clear images of silicon surfaces with a scanning tunneling microscope. Closely examining silicon surfaces has become increasingly important over the years as nearly all microelectronic devices are made from silicon-containing microchips.

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“PhytoBot” captures plants growth in unprecedented detail

September 19, 2013 10:19 am | News | Comments

Watching a plant grow and develop roots can be a long and tiresome process, but watching this process closely can reveal what happens to a genetically modified organism. A recently developed system from IntelLiDrives and the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison uses robotic cameras and computerized motion control systems to make this process easier.

Dedicated Multiphoton Microscopy System

September 17, 2013 1:54 pm | Product Releases | Comments

On Tuesday, Olympus America debuted a new functional brain mapping and high-speed physiology multiphoton system, the Olympus FluoView FVMPE-RS. This system enables high-precision, ultra-fast scanning and stimulation, allowing researchers to see deep within specimens and take measurements at high speeds under demanding conditions.

Smartphone microscope can detect a single virus, nanoparticles

September 17, 2013 10:04 am | News | Comments

Your smartphone now can see what the naked eye cannot: A single virus and bits of material less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair. A team at the Univ. of California, Los Angeles has created a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform sophisticated field testing to detect viruses and bacteria without the need for bulky and expensive microscopes and lab equipment. The device weighs less than half a pound.

Automated Probe Calibration

September 13, 2013 11:46 am | Product Releases | Comments

Asylum Research has announced the release of the new GetReal Automated Probe Calibration feature. With one click, GetReal fully calibrates the atomic force microscope (AFM) probe sensitivity and spring constant, enabling more consistent, more accurate results.

Extended Pressure SEM

September 9, 2013 12:18 pm | Product Releases | Comments

JEOL has introduced a new scanning electron microscope (SEM) with expanded pressure range, large specimen chamber and high resolution for imaging and characterizing a wide variety of sample types and sizes. The JSM-IT300LV is the latest addition to JEOL's series of tungsten low vacuum SEMs.

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Hollywood for Electron Microscopy

September 4, 2013 10:24 am | Award Winners

Developers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have introduced the Movie Mode Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (MM-DTEM), which can capture an in situ multiframe movie that reveals a complex sequence of nanoscale events with frame rates over 100,000 times faster than those of conventional techniques. MM-DTEM is based on a TEM that has been modified to include two pulsed lasers, the sample drive laser and the cathode laser.

Fast Imaging, Safe Samples

August 29, 2013 7:32 am | Award Winners

Imaging of live, large-scale biological specimens is an important application for biological research. This is typically done using fluorescence microscopes that must achieve high resolution and clarity without damaging the specimen. The Lightsheet Z.1 fluorescence microscopy system from Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC is specifically designed to protect the health and integrity of specimens.

Probe Enhances Nanoscale Studies

August 28, 2013 5:12 pm | Award Winners

Scanning probe technologies such as atomic force microscopes (AFMs) return spatial maps with atomic-scale detail; but until now, no equivalently accessible tool to investigate chemical and physical properties at such a length scale was available. Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have overcome this challenge by developing a tool to perform optical spectroscopy with a spatial resolution less than 10 nm, two orders of magnitude better than is possible with current technologies.

Nanoindentation Gets Hotter

August 28, 2013 4:55 pm | Award Winners

High-temperature testing of micro- and nanoscale materials has been limited by deleterious effects like oxidation or thermal drift. Despite this constraint on temperature level, the demand for this type of analysis means that heating stages are optional on many commercially available nanoindentation systems. Nanomechanics Inc. has improved available options with the introduction of the InSEM HT, which, for the first time, allows materials testing under load up to 500 C in an electron microscope or other vacuum environment.

Hybrid Approach to Metrology

August 28, 2013 4:38 pm | Award Winners

At NIST, scientists have developed the first technology to effectively combine the best aspects of two or more different measurement techniques into a monolithic result, reducing measurement uncertainty through the application of model-based metrology.

Sound Shapes Light for Speed

August 28, 2013 4:30 pm | Award Winners

High-resolution imaging, high-throughput scanning and laser processing share a common problem: Current approaches are not suited for non-flat surfaces or 3-D volumes because traditional optical systems can’t rapidly change the focal position or control the depth-of-field independently of the magnification. The TAGLens2.0 from Tag Optics Inc. solves these problems.

Atomic-scale Electrochemistry

August 28, 2013 4:15 pm | Award Winners

In recent years, tools for observing nanoscale structures have improved dramatically. However, laboratory bench electrochemistry has, until now, not been able to directly observe these structures. Protochips Inc. has leveraged the imaging capability of transmission electron microscopes (TEM) to provide this level of analytical performance.

Nanoscale Conductance Sleuth

August 28, 2013 3:58 pm | Award Winners

Analysis of the electrical properties of nanostructures is crucial for the successful development of practical materials that take advantage of atomic-scale properties. Examination at this size regime can be accomplished with a variety of instrumentation, but few tools are as flexible and potent as a nanoprobe system. Oxford Instruments Omicron Nanoscience’s LT Nanoprobe, for example, offers four individual and independent ultrahigh-vacuum scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) to permit precise nanoscale electrical transport measurements.

Inverted Modularity

August 28, 2013 3:38 pm | Award Winners

Inverted benchtop microscopes are a staple of research laboratories. But the long-trusted architecture of these instruments has been slow to adapt to the proliferation of optics and filters that currently must be fitted peripherally in a manner that can slow research and clutter bench space. The Olympus IX3 Inverted Microscope Series offers a way to streamline both workspace and workflow by introducing an architecture that gives users access to the light path.

Ideal nanocrystal produced from bulk plastics

August 20, 2013 8:08 am | News | Comments

Polyethylene, an inexpensive commodity plastic, has been successfully used by researchers to synthesize the “ideal” polymer nanocrystal. Normally, this plastic is only partly crystalline, but a new catalyst has produced material that eliminates amorphous structures. The crystalline nanostructure could prove of interest to production of new kinds of coatings.

Technique expands options for molecular imaging

August 15, 2013 10:58 am | News | Comments

A Rice Univ. laboratory has improved upon its ability to determine molecular structures in 3-D in ways that challenge long-used standards. By measuring the vibrations between atoms using femtosecond-long laser pulses, the Rice laboratory of chemist Junrong Zheng is able to discern the positions of atoms within molecules without the restrictions imposed by x-ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging.

Biophysicists zoom in on pore-forming toxin

August 15, 2013 7:43 am | News | Comments

A new study by Rice Univ. biophysicists offers the most comprehensive picture yet of the molecular-level action of melittin, the principal toxin in bee venom. The research could aid in the development of new drugs that use a similar mechanism as melittin’s to attack cancer and bacteria.

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