Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shedding New Light On Biology

Date:
August 16, 2004
Source:
European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Summary:
Physicists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have developed a state-of-the-art microscope that gives scientists a much deeper look into living organisms than ever before. The new technology will undoubtedly become a standard fixture in modern biology labs. Its many advantages and applications are described in the latest edition of Science (Aug 13, 2004).

EMBL Group Leader Dr. Ernst Stelzer and Dr. Jim Swoger with the SPIM technology. (Co-developer Jan Huisken not pictured). Photo credit: copyright 2004, Maj Britt Hansen, EMBL.

Physicists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have developed a state-of-the-art microscope that gives scientists a much deeper look into living organisms than ever before. The new technology will undoubtedly become a standard fixture in modern biology labs. Its many advantages and applications are described in the latest edition of Science (Aug 13, 2004).

Called SPIM (Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy), the technology allows scientists, for the first time, to study live systems from many different angles, under real conditions and with minimal disruption to the specimen.

“Over the years we’ve seen current microscopes falling short of what the scientists need. We designed SPIM with EMBL biologists to make sure that it was completely suited to their needs,” says EMBL scientist Ernst Stelzer, whose group developed SPIM with the input of developmental biologists in the group led by Jochen Wittbrodt. “This new microscope is easy to build, is about one-third the cost of current technologies, and gives scientists improved resolution by a factor of about five.”

SPIM allows scientists to view relatively large samples (2-3 mm) in a medium that mimics real conditions, rather than cutting-up and destroying the sample to fix it to a slide (as needed in traditional microscopy). SPIM shines a very thin slice of light through the sample and then systematically moves the specimen through the light sheet to capture images from each layer. No out-of-focus light is created, so SPIM gives a sharper image of the sample without the usual background blur. The whole sample can continue living and growing as it is viewed under the microscope, something that current microscopes do not allow. SPIM also minimizes the amount of light-induced damage and extends the life of the sample, by using thin slices of light rather than illuminating the entire sample all at once. The entire procedure is extremely fast - detailed images can be acquired in minutes. To further improve the resolution and to correct for distortions that depend on the viewing direction, the sample can be rotated and scanned again. As a result of EMBL physicist Jim Swoger’s work on image processing, the combination of the different views yields an unequaled three-dimensional (3D) image.

PhD student Jan Huisken from the Stelzer group, one of the developers of the technology, sees the creation of SPIM as a major breakthrough in both the scientific and microscopy communities. “Not only is this microscope simply more powerful than many existing technologies, but it also comes at the perfect time for biologists who need to study complete systems.”

Ernst Stelzer emphasizes this aspect. “It is extremely valuable – especially for studying developmental biology and for viewing 3D cell cultures. With SPIM, scientists can now capture images that would have otherwise been impossible. It enables completely new applications in scientific research.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Molecular Biology Laboratory. "Shedding New Light On Biology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815232738.htm>.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory. (2004, August 16). Shedding New Light On Biology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815232738.htm
European Molecular Biology Laboratory. "Shedding New Light On Biology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815232738.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins