Microscopy & Imaging

How to Quantify Images in an Unbiased Way

Microscopists like to say that seeing is believing. The so-called belief in this context is a product of highly experienced imagination, which raises a concern about the objectivity. To remain objective, we try to use analytical approaches to quantify images and turn phenotypes into numbers. Many image analysis approaches exist nowadays, from simple manual measurements…

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Three-Dimensional Scanning Electron Microscopy for Biology

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is a powerful technique, traditionally used for imaging the surface of cells, tissues and whole multicellular organisms (see An Introduction to Electron Microscopy for Biologists)(Fig. 1). While the resultant images appear to be three dimensional (3D), they actually contain no depth information. However, there are several SEM techniques that can obtain…

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Lasers for Confocal Microscopy

Lasers were once called “a solution looking for a problem.” The word—which is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation—used to conjure up images of deadly weapons from Sci-Fi movies and TV series. However, their increasing use in everyday life, first in CD players and then in barcode scanners and pointers, have…

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