Molecular Light Switches for Higher Resolution

Mai 29, 2009

The “Superresolution” research network, founded by the German Ministry of Education and Sciences, demonstrated a new widefield microscopy technology with resolutions better than 20 nanometers. The method is based on special dyes, which’s fluorescence can be optically and reversibly switched on and off in aqueous solutions. The dyes are bond to cellular structures by using a functional group. By switching the dyes on and off, the fluorescence emission is separated in time until only those dye molecules fluoresce that have enough distance to allow their localization as single molecules. After several thousand switching cycles, a total image is constructed (dSTORM – direct stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy). Involved in the project were the work groups of Prof. Dr. M. Sauer and Prof. Dr. J. Mattay (University of Bielefeld, Germany ), Prof. Dr. K.-H. Drexhage (University of Siegen, Germany), Prof. Dr. J. Enderlein (University of Goettingen, Germany), and Prof. Dr. S. Hell (Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, Goettingen, Germany).

Cytoskeleton of a fixed cell. Left: Fluorescence image at standard conditions. Right: dSTORM image using molecular switches.

Cytoskeleton of a fixed cell. Left: Fluorescence image at standard conditions. Right: dSTORM image using molecular switches.

Strengthening the Research and Education Network

März 13, 2009

Microscope designer Leica Microsystems and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have signed a corporate partnership agreement whereby Leica Microsystems becomes a founder partner of the EMBL Advanced Training Centre scheduled to be completed in September 2009. Besides its financial involvement, the company will provide EMBL with Leica systems and will support events for the international scientific community. In return, Leica will be granted access to the first-class facilities of the molecular biology research institute to run product and application training courses.

ELMI Meeting 2009

Januar 16, 2009

The European Light Microscopy Initiative’s (ELMI) 9th annual meeting on advanced microscopy will be held from June 9-12, 2009 in Glasgow, Scotland. Both, scientific presentations and hands-on workshops will be offered to the attendees. ELMI is a communication network of advanced microscopy users and manufacturers of imaging equipment. The conference aims to promote biological imaging as a fundamental tool for basic and applied research in the life science field. It will assist scientists working in the field of life science to exploit the power of biological imaging by improving the transfer of knowledge. ELMI meetings rotate through Europe, typically hosted by members who run imaging facilities. The next ELMI meeting, held at Caledonian University, Glasgow, will be hosted by Kurt I. Anderson from the Beatson Cancer Research Institute and Gail McConnell from the Institute of Biophotonics.

University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow, Scotland, source: