Scientists use mice for all kinds of fun things, from injecting old mice with young mouse blood to training them to sniff for bombs, but when doing research, it's often very difficult to see what's actually going on in a mouse's brain.
Researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Oxford have pioneered a new technique to see exactly how our body's "natural killer" white blood cells actually do their dirty work. It's the first time we've ever been able to see how this element of the body's natural defenses actually works.
We've seen single-molecule "motors" before, but they're pretty primitive, motors only in the most basic sense of the word. But this new one, made of a single butyl methyl sulfide molecule, is much closer to what images the word "motor" might conjure: when electricity is applied, the molecule is triggered to spin, without affecting any other molecules around it.
Researchers at UCLA have built a cheap, optics-free holographic microscope capable of detecting bacteria like E. coli in things like water, food, and blood. And by cheap, we mean really cheap. The researchers say it costs less than $100 to build.
All the new breakthroughs in microscopy we've seen recently are designed to help scientists see deeper, inside individual cells and into the depths of the brain. Of course, this would be easier to do if there wasn't a bunch of other tissue blocking the cells you want to see.
A new type of X-ray microscope — or more appropriately, nanoscope — is another big breakthrough in the world of imaging the small. It computes images rather than glimpsing them directly, allowing scientists to see details at the nanoscale.
Adaptive optics techniques used for the world's most powerful telescopes will be used to image the smallest processes in living systems, according to researchers in California.
In astronomy, adaptive optics fixes the blurring of deep-space images by correcting for the turbulence in Earth's atmosphere. These techniques have allowed the Keck telescopes in Hawaii to resolve deep-space objects with greater clarity than the Hubble Space Telescope.
Mashing web-based virtual microscopy and a massive multi-touch display surface, Finnish researchers have created a new interface for laboratory science that allows researchers to pan and zoom around a microscope sample via a tabletop or wall-mounted touchscreen, zooming in so close that sub-cellular details can be seen.
Today in clever science tricks: a new kind of microscopy that can see down to resolutions smaller than the wavelength of the imaging light itself. On its face, this shouldn't be possible; the smallest resolution you should be able to get in the visible spectrum is about 200 nanometers because of the lower limits of visible light's wavelengths. But with a special lens, Dutch researchers have used 561-nanometer laser light to image gold nanoparticles just 97 nanometers across.
A new kind of biomedical imaging developed at Harvard is allowing researchers to capture video at scales never before seen, allowing for streaming footage at the subcellular level. The new technique, based on stimulated Raman scattering (SRS), can capture video of red blood cells squeezing through capillaries.