$2 Million Grant for Live Microscopy

Mai 13, 2009

A proposal by a team of UC Davis (University of California, US) scientists to develop the first electron microscope capable of filming live biological processes has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The team’s plan is to extend the capabilities of a powerful new imaging tool called the dynamic transmission electron microscope or DTEM. These instruments can snap 10 to 100 images per millionth of a second, while capturing details as small as 10 nanometers. If they can be adapted to living, moving systems, DTEMs could achieve resolutions 100 times greater than currently attainable for live processes, enabling scientists to observe and record biological processes at the molecular level. Currently, there are only three DTEMs in use worldwide, none of which are designed for observing living systems. Rather, they are utilized to document such processes as inorganic chemical reactions and the dynamics of materials as they change from one state – solid, liquid or gas – to another.

Observing Cells in Solution

Februar 3, 2009

Chikara Sato and Toshihiko Ogura of the Structure Physiology Group at the Neuroscience Research Institute of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan, (AIST) have collaborated with Mitsuo Suga and Hidetoshi Nishiyama of the Clair Project at Jeol, Japan, to develop an atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) capable of observing aqueous samples and cells in solution at atmospheric pressures. Conventional electron microscopes view samples in vacuum and are unable to image wet samples or samples in solution.