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Microscopes

Physics

Graphene optical lens a billionth of a meter thick breaks the diffraction limit

With the development of photonic chips and nano-optics, the old ground glass lenses can't keep up in the race toward miniaturization. In the search for a suitable replacement, a team from the Swinburne University of Technology has developed a graphene microlens one billionth of a meter thick that can take sharper images of objects the size of a single bacterium and opens the door to improved mobile phones, nanosatellites, and computers.Read More

Physics

ORNL's hybrid device combines microscopy and mass spectrometry

As occurs all too often in scientific analysis, if you want to investigate more than one aspect of a sample, then you almost always need a different tool for each examination required. How convenient it would be if a substance could be both microscopically examined and chemically analyzed at the same time. In this vein, researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE's) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have created a hybrid optical microscope/mass spectrometry-based imaging system capable of observing and analyzing specimens simultaneously.
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Physics

MIT physicists build world's first fermion microscope

MIT researchers claim to have created a method to better observe fermions – the sub-atomic building blocks of matter – by constructing a microscope capable of viewing them in groups of a thousand at a time. A laser technique is used to herd the fermions into a viewing area and then freeze them in place so all of the captured particles can be imaged simultaneously.Read More

Physics

Hyperlens significantly boosts image resolution of microscopic objects

Using visible light magnified through a compound series of lenses to image small objects, standard optical microscopes have been with us for many centuries. Whilst continually being improved, the result of these many advances of optics and image-capturing techniques means that many high-end optical microscopes have now reached the limit of magnification possible as they push the resolution properties of light itself. In an attempt to resolve this issue, scientists at the University of Buffalo (UB) have created a prototype visible light "hyperlens" that may help image objects once only clearly viewable through electron microscopes.Read More

Mobile Technology

Smartphone microscope lens that costs just pennies to make

Microscopes can be expensive pieces of gear, making access difficult – or non-existent – for students and medical staff in isolated and poorer locales. To help address this, researchers at the University of Houston (UH) have fashioned a lens designed to fit on almost any smartphone. It has the ability to magnify images up to 120 times their original size, and at an estimated production cost of just three cents per lens.

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Biology

3D Cell Explorer produces 3D holograms of living cells in near real time

Swiss company Nanolive has created 3D Cell Explorer, a new technology that creates vibrantly detailed 3D holograms of living cells on the nanometric scale. Created through combining 3D imagery with digital staining, the new microscope offers researchers and hospitals a novel tool to non-invasively peer inside living cells almost in real time, opening up new areas of biological research.Read More

Science

"SCAPE" microscope offers faster and simpler imaging of freely moving samples

Elizabeth Hillman, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), has developed a new 3D microscope prototype dubbed "SCAPE" (Swept Confocally Aligned Planar Excitation Microscopy), which requires no mounting of samples or other special preparation, and is capable of imaging freely moving living samples at speeds 10 to 100 times faster than current laser-scanning microscopes. Read More

Inventors & Remarkable People

Super-resolved fluorescence microscopy pioneers awarded 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Ever since Antonie van Leeuwenhoek turned his simple microscope on a bit of pond water in the 17th century, optical microscopes have been a key tool for biologists. Unfortunately, they’re rather limited as to the smallness of what they can see – or at least, they were. This year's winners of the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry, Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner, changed all that. Their discovery of two methods to bypass the physical limits of optical microscopes led to the creation of the field of nanomicroscopy. Read More

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