Martin started off his early career investigating contraceptive vaccines. He eventually gained his PhD in nanotoxicology from Edinburgh Napier University. A return to reproductive biology followed working with the MRC in endometrial pathology research. Following a brief detour into global pharmaceuticals, Martin joined the Bitesize Bio team and set up the Microscopy and Imaging Channel. Now a completely free-range human, Martin runs his own arts and crafts business creating award-winning slate art and bespoke slate and wood items for home and garden. Martin is still very much involved in Bitesize Bio and is a regular contributor to the magazine. You can find out more about his arts and crafts work on his Facebook page (, or visit his website.

Articles by martin:

Scientific Cyber Fraud: Nobody Move—We’re Taking Over This Journal!

Keeping up to date with the scientific literature is a large part of the work-load of any researcher. Love it or loathe it, this means of sharing research findings with the larger scientific community is still the way in which most of us inform ourselves of the latest findings in our fields of research, or…

09 Jan 2017 Writing, Publishing & Presenting

Microscope Cameras: From SLR to CMOS Devices

Photography has undergone great improvements in the last few decades. In times gone past, photographic film was used. Now most researchers use digital means to capture their images. But not all digital cameras are the same. For optimal results you need to know the different types of microscope cameras and how they work. Before the…

03 Aug 2016 Microscopy & Imaging

Just This Moment. Introducing the Science Behind Mindfulness and Meditation

How often have you looked at slides down the microscope and your thoughts have been miles away? Have you ever been sitting at the bench pipetting and preparing a PCR and wondered if you had really added your forward primer to all your samples (I’ll put my hand up to this one!)? Or spent time…

09 Jul 2016 Personal Development

Microscope Condensers: Don’t Forget Those Parts Underneath!

When you first start out using a microscope, you might only adjust the eye pieces, objectives, and the focus controls. However, you shouldn’t overlook the microscope condensers as they are an important part of the whole optical system of a microscope.

09 Jul 2016 Microscopy & Imaging

The Why and How of Oil Immersion Microscopy

Do you know why immersion oil and objectives are used for high power magnification? Do you know how to use an immersion objective correctly? Then review with me the why and how of immersion objectives. The quality of your image depends on your Numerical Aperture (NA) and resolution. To very briefly recap, NA relates to…

31 Mar 2015 Microscopy & Imaging

Vitamin H and Egg White: Streptavidin-Biotin for Immunohistochemistry

If you want to make molecules stick together you need to know about streptavidin/biotin. This article follows on from Mike’s article looking at ‘sandwich’ and ‘amplification’ methods of immunohistochemistry (IHC) and covers how streptavidin-biotin works in IHC, including protocols. Streptavidin-Biotin What is it? Avidin is a natural biotin-binding protein found in egg whites. Streptavidin is similar…

06 Jan 2015 Microscopy & Imaging

PIER, HIER and Mannich: Antigen Retrieval in Immunohistochemistry

When you fix your tissue samples with paraformaldehyde (PFA) the proteins in your sample become covalently cross-linked. This is good to preserve the ‘architecture’ of your tissue sample. However, this cross-linking can become a problem when you carry out immunohistochemistry (IHC). Cross-linking can ‘mask’ or hide your antigens-of-interest and make them ‘invisible’ to your IHC…

16 Dec 2014 Microscopy & Imaging

Looking good! A Guide to Adjusting and Maintaining Microscope Eyepieces

The magnification and viewing of samples using a microscope relies on both the objectives and the eyepieces working harmoniously together. If you buy a ready-to-use microscope, then the objectives and the eyepieces which are fitted as standard will be designed to complement each other. On the other hand, if you are designing and building a…

23 Sep 2014 Microscopy & Imaging

Taken for Granted: Position and Setup of Your Microscope

Although I say ‘taken for granted’, over the years of working in and managing microscope facilities, it quickly became clear that the position of the microscope, user position and set-up were aspects which were not considered by many users. These are fundamental points which not only take strain from your eyes, back and so on,…

21 Sep 2014 Microscopy & Imaging

I Can See (See Dee)! CCD and CMOS Cameras for Micoscopy

Two different sensors are generally used in cameras for microscopy: Charge Coupled Devices (CCD) or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductors (CMOS or sCMOS). Although there are a number of similarities between the two sensors, differences in the way they function can have an effect on image capture time as well as signal-to-noise ratio. Let’s take a…

12 Aug 2014 Microscopy & Imaging