View to a bigger world
Perth scientists have unveiled one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, capable of showing the footprint of a fly.
The Nikon Centre of Excellence in Optical Microscopy has six instruments, including an advanced microscope which is up to 20 times more powerful than the previous generation of optical equipment.
The facility is part of the University of WA’s Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis and based at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
Centre director David Sampson said the instruments would be a game-changer in understanding cell behaviour, allowing researchers to see things on a scale that had never been possible before.
The microscopes will be used for everything from understanding vision in animals, to learning about cells in mammals and for research into bacteria and infectious diseases.
“To give an indication of just how powerful these microscopes are, they can see things 1000 times smaller than what the human eye can see,” Professor Sampson said.
“This is really exciting because for the first time we will be able to see the mechanics of how molecules work within cells in huge detail.”
The centre is the only one of its kind in Australia and one of only 10 in the world.
Professor David Sampson, director of UWA's optical and biomedical engineering laboratory, with the Nikon microscope.