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A Momentary Flow

Evolving Worldviews

A new microscopic technique that can see tiny structures inside the “control center” of the cell for the first time has been developed by researchers at Queen Mary University of London, It represents a major advance for cell biologists because it will allow them to investigate structures deep inside the cell, such as viruses, bacteria, and parts of the nucleus in depth. Recent advances in optical physics have made it possible to use fluorescent microscopy to study complex structures smaller than the Abbe limit of 200 nanometers (nm) — around 500 times smaller than the width of a human hair. These methodologies are called super-resolution microscopy. The drawback of such techniques is that they can only produce very clear images of structures that are at the bottom of the cell. Since the nucleus — the cell’s ‘control center’ — is in the middle of the cell and bacterial and viral infections can happen anywhere in the cell, this technique has considerable limitations for biologists. The newly developed imaging system, making it possible to image structures as small as 80nm or less anywhere in the cell. It was developed by Dr Neveen Hosny, a bioengineer working with Dr. Ann Wheeler, Head of Imaging at Queen Mary’s Blizard Institute.and Professor Martin Knight in the School of Engineering and Materials Science. (via A super-resolution window into the center of a cell | KurzweilAI)

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