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An Objective View: What do These Abbreviations Mean on Microscope Objectives?

In one of the previous articles from the Microscopy and Imaging Channel, we took a look at ‘that other number’ which you’ll find on a microscope objective: namely numerical aperture. The information you’ll find on objectives doesn’t stop there though- another piece of information to be found on the barrel of the objective is the […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 29th of April, 2014
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Dots, Probes and Proteins: Fluorescent Labels for Microscopy and Imaging

If you remember from one of my previous articles (if not, you can read it here!), we introduced ‘fluorophores’. These are basically substances (natural or synthetic) which have the ability to absorb light at a low wavelength and re-emit at a higher wavelength. In other words- they fluoresce! In this article, I’ll introduce the three […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 25th of March, 2014
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Fluorescence 101: A Beginners Guide to Excitation/Emission, Stokes Shift, Jablonski and More!

You may already use fluorescence as a tool in your microscopy and imaging work, but, do you know exactly what it is? Why are certain proteins and probes fluorescent? What causes this light emitting property? We’ll have a look at these and more questions in this article. Start with a definition We’ll start with a […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 11th of March, 2014
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Light Through Crystals: What Exactly is Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy?

Although his name could fit in easily to the early 1980’s Hip-Hop Scene, Jerzy Nomarski (or ‘George’) was actually a Polish physicist with an interest in optical theory. Born in 1919, he eventually became a member of the Polish Resistance fighting in the Second World War. He was captured by enemy forces and held as […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 18th of February, 2014
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Catching Waves: What a Microscopist Ought to Know About Phase Contrast

Phase contrast microscopy is a light microscopy technique which is primarily used to visualise live cells. Using various filters and condensers, the image produced by phase contrast allows us to see greater detail in live cells and can highlight aspects such as intracellular structures. Keep your cells alive! The best way to view cells is […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 4th of February, 2014
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A (very) Short History of Histology

Some recent conversations I have had got me to thinking about bioscience students and their first encounter with the word and the world of ‘histology’. In pursuing the study of biology and carving out a career in the life sciences, then each of us will no doubt need (or want) to use histology in our […]

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Tissue Processing For Histology: What Exactly Happens?

A procedure which needs to take place between tissue fixation and the embedding/sectioning of paraffin blocks is tissue processing. You simply can’t take fixed tissue and embed it! We have already introduced fixation in this article and embedding/sectioning in this article. Following fixation, tissue is transferred to a tissue cassette- see the multicolored examples below! […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 10th of December, 2013
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This One’s Upside Down! Inverted and Stereo Microscopes in Bioscience Laboratories

Most of the microscopes you will encounter in your laboratories will be ‘upright’. In other words, they are assembled (from top to bottom) in the order of; eyepieces, objectives (on revolving nosepiece), stage, sub-stage condenser, diaphragm and base. However, there are two other types of light microscopes you will perhaps encounter (and use) and it […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 3rd of December, 2013
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Haematoxylin and Eosin 101: Part Two- Recipes and Materials

Following on from the first part of the H and E 101 articles, here are the materials and recipes you’ll need for your own H and E workstation (assuming you don’t have access to a histology lab). Many of the chemicals listed below are toxic and/or harmful. Use PPE when handling/storing, follow SOP’s in your […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 12th of November, 2013
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Haematoxylin And Eosin 101: Part One – Method And Tips

Haematoxylin and Eosin staining is the most common staining in the modern (and old!) histology lab. This staining technique gives an overview of the structure of the tissue and can be used in pathological diagnosis. This article follows on from Nicola’s introduction, but we’ll take an in-depth look at the stains, chemistry and method to […]

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In Microscopy & Imaging 5th of November, 2013