Magazine article USA TODAY

New Microscope Has Super Resolution

Magazine article USA TODAY

New Microscope Has Super Resolution

Article excerpt

A crucial tool in the evolution of scientific capability in bioscience, the fluorescence microscope has allowed a generation of scientists to study the properties of proteins inside cells. Yet, as human capacity for discovery has zoomed to the nanoscale, fluorescence microscopy has struggled to keep up. However, a team that includes University of Georgia, Athens, engineer Peter Kner has developed a microscope that is capable of live imaging at double the resolution of fluorescence microscopy using structured illumination.

The laws of physics have limited the resolution of fluorescence microscopy-whereby a fluorescent marker is used to distinguish specific proteins--to about 200 nanometers. At this resolution, significant detail is lost concerning the activity within a cell. The increased resolution by structured illumination is an engineering feat that will help scientists learn more about cell behavior and study mechanisms important for human disease.

"Our understanding of what is going on inside cells and our ability to manipulate them has advanced so much that it has become more and more important to see them at a better resolution," emphasizes Kner, who built the structured illumination microscope with colleagues from the University of California, San Francisco. …

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