Pow­er­ful mi­cro­scope dives deeper

The Week - Junior - - Science And Technology -

The most pow­er­ful mi­cro­scope in Scot­land has been un­veiled by the Ed­in­burgh Su­per-Res­o­lu­tion Imag­ing Con­sor­tium (ESRIC) – a joint ven­ture be­tween He­riot-Watt Univer­sity and the Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh. The new de­vice, called a nanoscope, is ca­pa­ble of see­ing things ten times smaller than the most ad­vanced light mi­cro­scope. A nanoscope works dif­fer­ently to or­di­nary light mi­cro­scopes, which bounce light beams off ob­jects and use pow­er­ful lenses to fo­cus them. Nanoscopes fire laser light at ob­jects to make flu­o­res­cent mol­e­cules within them glow (mol­e­cules are the small build­ing blocks of a sub­stance made of two or more atoms). The process is re­peated many times until a com­plete im­age emerges. The team at ESRIC hope to use the new nanoscope to ob­serve the pro­cesses of cells (the small­est part of a liv­ing or­gan­ism) with the hope of find­ing cures for many dis­eases.

Take a peek in­side a cell.

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