Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

World’s most powerful optical microscope: Microscope could ‘solve the cause of viruses’

World’s most powerful optical microscope: Microscope could ‘solve the cause of viruses’

Scientists have created a microscope which shatters the record for the smallest object the eye can see, beating the diffraction limit of light. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Manchester)

 

 

From the March 1 2001 Science Daily item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 1, 2011) — Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the team have created a microscope which shatters the record for the smallest object the eye can see, beating the diffraction limit of light.

Previously, the standard optical microscope can only see items around one micrometre — 0.001 millimetres — clearly.

But now, by combining an optical microscope with a transparent microsphere, dubbed the ‘microsphere nanoscope‘, the Manchester researchers can see 20 times smaller — 50 nanometres ((5 x 10-8m) — under normal lights. This is beyond the theoretical limit of optical microscopy.

This hugely-increased capacity means the scientists, led by Professor Lin Li and Dr Zengbo Wang, could potentially examine the inside of human cells, and examine live viruses for the first time to potentially see what causes them.

The existing microscopes which have the capacity to examine tiny items — electron microscopes — can only see the surface of a cell rather than examining its structure and there is no tool to see a live virus visually….

 

 

Advertisements

March 2, 2011 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: