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  • Real Time Observation of Neutrophil White Blood Cell Recruitment to Bacterial Infection In Vivo

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an emerging vertebrate model organism to study infection. The transparent larva comprises a fully functional innate immune system and enables live imaging of fluorescent immune cells in transgenic animals. Zebrafish infection models have been developed for both the human bacterial pathogen Shigella flexneri and the natural fish bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium marinum. Importantly, whilst S. flexneri causes acute infection and is typically used as an inflammatory paradigm, M. marinum causes a chronic disease similar to tuberculosis in humans. Here, we use real time fluorescence microscopy to image transgenic zebrafish larvae with neutrophils (granulocyte white blood cells) expressing the green fluorescent protein eGFP.
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  • How to Turn Microscope Workplaces Ergonomic

    Microscopes are tools that affect those who work with them every day. They can be highly demanding for the human body, requiring concentration and a lot of steady activity from many of our muscles. In this interview, Clinton Smith, Senior Product Manager at Leica Microsystems, talks about how to relieve possible tension and strain and how to create ergonomic workplaces to help microscope users work in comfort and how to increase productivity.
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  • Work More Efficiently in Developmental Biology With Stereo Microscopy: Zebrafish, Medaka, and Xenopus

    Among the aquatic model organisms used in molecular and developmental biology the most prominent are the zebrafish (genus species: Danio rerio), medaka or japanese rice fish (genus species: Oryzias latipes), and african clawed frog (genus species: Xenopus laevis). This report gives useful information to scientists and technicians which can help improve their daily laboratory work by making the steps of transgenesis, fluorescent screening, and functional imaging more efficient.
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  • Work More Efficiently In Developmental Biology With Stereo Microscopy: Fruit Flies (Drosophila Melanogaster)

    For scientists and technicians working with fruit flies, most often genus Drosophila, this report is intended to give useful information to help improve daily laboratory work by making the steps of fly pushing, fluorescent screening, dissection, and documentation/imaging more efficient. It also details various possibilities for properly equipping or stocking a fly lab.
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  • Color Infidelity: Why Using a Light Source Incorrectly is Cheating on your Data

    There are many influences on color in the imaging process including lighting, optics, sensor, and monitor, and ultimately print. The first, and generally most important, is lighting. There are plenty of options for light sources, Halogen, LED, and arc lamps are among the most popular for microscopes. Each light source has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is up to the user to learn which is best for the sample and application.
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  • What do you Call a Drosophila who Likes to Drink? A Bar Fly!

    The thought of a Drosophoila headed to the local bar for a drink creates a funny joke, but after long hours of sorting flies under a microscope that causes eyestrain or neck pain, you may be the one that wants to head to the local bar for a drink! Unfortunately most users do not know why they experience discomfort when using a stereo microscope.
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  • Illumination (Lighting) Systems for Stereo Microscopes

    This report gives users of stereo microscopes helpful advice when attempting to select optimal illumination or lighting systems for sample observation. The illumination used for microscopic observation has a very important effect on the final image quality. Choosing the illumination to achieve the best results depends upon the type of sample and its features of interest, as well as the application and purpose for microscopic observation. The following information should help microscope users to choose illumination systems that produce the best imaging results.
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  • New Predatory Cockroaches (Insecta: Blattaria: Manipulatoridae fam.n.) from the Upper Cretaceous Myanmar Amber

    We describe a new extinct lineage Manipulatoridae (new family) of cockroaches from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) amber of Myanmar. Manipulator modificaputis gen. et sp. n. is a morphologically unique extinct cockroach that represents the first (of a total of 29 known worldwide) cockroach family reported exclusively from the Myanmar amber.
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  • How to Correct Aberration in Stereo Microscopy by Using the Right Objective Lenses

    For samples/specimens immersed in a liquid or embedded in a polymer, high quality microscopic observation can be hindered as a result of spherical aberration. An objective which can correct for refractive index mismatch allows images with greatly reduced spherical aberration and sharper focus to be obtained.
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  • Bird Park Gives Fascinating Insights into the Variety of Nature

    The Vogel- und Naturschutz-Tierpark Herborn to the north of Frankfurt may be small, but it’s always a great experience for school classes – and not only because it’s home to more than 300 animals of 80 different species, from South African blue cranes and white storks to meerkats and muntjac deer. Another special highlight for schoolchildren is the opportunity to look through a stereomicroscope and gain fascinating insights into nature.
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  • Local and Global Methods of Assessing Thermal Nociception in Drosophila Larvae

    In this article, we demonstrate assays to study thermal nociception in Drosophila larvae. One assay involves spatially-restricted (local) stimulation of thermal nociceptors while the second involves a wholesale (global) activation of most or all such neurons. Together, these techniques allow visualization and quantification of the behavioral functions of Drosophila nociceptive sensory neurons.
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  • Ground Beetles Shed Light on the Environmental History of High Mountain Regions

    With over 35,000 known species, ground beetles – or Carabidae – are among the most speciose groups of animals in the world. Biologist Dr. Joachim Schmidt devotes his entire scientific work to the research of these frequently very small beetles, their ecology, distribution and phylogeny. He is particularly interested in the ground beetles of high mountain regions.
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  • In the Catacombs of the Capuchin Monastery in Palermo

    It has always been a deeply rooted human need to give life a meaning after death. At the end of the 16th century, the friars of the Capuchin monastery in Palermo, Italy, began preserving corpses by embalming them.
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  • Stereo microscopes with TripleBeam Technology

    Especially in fluorescence microscopy, excitation light is friend and foe in one. On the one hand, energy-rich excitation via a specific light wavelength of the fluorochrome resulting in a bright positive fluorochrome signal is highly welcome. On the other hand, "noise" caused by reflections of excitation light passing through the surfaces of optical elements needs to be extremely slight to generate a perfect black background. This relation is described as "signal-to-noise ratio", which is highly relevant for differentiating optically between fluorescence positive and negative cells.
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  • 100 Years of Binoculars and Quantitative Microscopy

    One hundred years ago, in 1913, the Optische Werke Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar, predecessor of Leica Microsystems CMS GmbH, made two inventions that were to blaze the trail for modern microscopy: the binocular tube and the integrating stage for quantitative microscopy.
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  • Taking the Long View

    In exploring how embryos take shape, John Wallingford has identified a key pathway involved in vertebrate development – and human disease.
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  • Even Insect Fragments Throw Light on How Crimes Are Committed: How Forensic Biologist Dr. Mark Benecke Gains Insights

    Many people know Germany’s most famous forensic biologist, Dr. Mark Benecke from Cologne, from TV documentaries showing how crimes are solved. Benecke is a welcome guest on talk shows on topics such as forensic trace analysis, murder or the depths of the human psyche in general. He also enjoys an excellent international reputation. However, Mark Benecke’s normal working day bears little resemblance to the scenes shown in TV crime drama series.
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  • How a Fingerprint Is Traced to the Person Who Made It – Interactive Microscope System Facilitates Dactyloscopist Training

    “We have to take your fingerprints.” This sentence is spoken in nearly every TV crime drama to a suspect sitting in the interrogation room. But what exactly is it that makes a fingerprint so valuable for detectives in real life? How do fingerprint experts, known as dactyloscopists, perform their jobs?
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  • AntWeb Documents the World of Ants

    Every ant has a story to tell. And what better person to tell it than Brian Fisher? Fisher is an entomologist at the California Academy of Sciences and Project Manager of AntWeb.org. The internet portal illustrates the diversity of ants by providing information and high quality color images of many of the approximately 10,000 known species of ants.
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  • Stereo microscopes in the EU’s Plant Inspection

    Exotic fruits and sun-kissed vegetables – we have long been accustomed to a huge selection of culinary delicacies that are available fresh in stores on a daily basis. Sometimes, however, these goods flown in from far away carry along unwanted passengers: pests, fungi, or viruses, which cannot be seen with the naked eye.
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  • Factors to Consider When Selecting a Stereo Microscope

    Stereo microscopes are often nicknamed the workhorse of the lab or the production department. Users spend many hours behind the ocular inspecting, observing, documenting or dissecting samples. Which factors need to be considered when selecting...
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  • Where the Germanic Forces Beat the Romans

    “Germanic barbarians defeat super army!” That is the kind of news headline you might have seen in the year 9 AD about the victory of the Germanic tribes over three Roman legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest is regarded as one of the most momentous battles of antiquity, and for a long time scientists have puzzled over where the fighting may have taken place.
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  • Genuine or Fake

    ID cards, driving licenses, birth certificates, A-level exams – the potential for individual perpetrators or gangs to gain advantages by forging documents is vast. And the more sophisticated the security standards, the better equipped experts have to be in order to clearly differentiate between genuine documents and fakes.
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  • One of Our Last Horizons

    An insight into the unknown world of the deep sea was given in an exhibition staged by the Senckenberg Society together with the Natural History Museum in Basel, Switzerland. Shown in Frankfurt am Main and Berlin, Germany, the "Deep Sea" exhibition was a huge public success in 2009. From May to September 2010, the exhibition has been shown in the Natural History Museum in London. Scientists of the Senckenberg Society work with stereomicroscopes and digital cameras both in the laboratory and on the research ships.
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  • Intraocular Lenses

    Only a few decades ago, the diagnosis ‘cataracts’ meant loss of vision in the near future. Today, cataract surgery is the most common operation worldwide.
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  • Precision That Saves Eyesight

    Retina surgery demands experienced surgeons and precision technology. In vitreoretinal surgery, the surgeon operates with microscissors and forceps that are less than a millimeter thick. The Swiss company Alcon Grieshaber is one of the world’s leading specialists in handheld instruments for minimally invasive eye surgery.
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  • How Sharp Images Are Formed

    In microscopy, depth of field is often seen as an empirical parameter. In practice it is determined by the correlation between numerical aperture, resolution and magnification. For the best possible visual impression, the adjustment facilities of modern microscopes produce an optimum balance between depth of field and resolution – two parameters which in theory are inversely correlated.
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  • Exclusive Aesthetics of Nature

    Gemstones have fascinated people for thousands of years. Rulers and kings used to demonstrate their power and wealth with jewel-studded insignia. Although fine jewellery is still a status symbol of the rich, we now tend to treasure these wonders of nature more for our own pleasure in beauty and harmony.
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  • Antique Underwater Treasures Endangered

    In the 2nd century BC, Baiae in the Gulf of Naples was a notorious bathing resort and spa for wealthy Romans. Today, part of the town is submerged under the sea and can be visited as an 80,000 square metre archaeological underwater park. The magnificent mosaics from the underwater ruins are analysed at the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il Restauro (ISCR) of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities in Rome.
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