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Microscopy Basics

Basic knowledge in optics and contrasting methods is fundamental for microscopic imaging. The precise setup of an optical microscope including correct Koehler illumination improves image quality – the base for further image analysis. Within light microscopy we differentiate between stained and unstained samples influencing the amplitude and the phase of the light waves traversing the sample. For the human eye, differences in the amplitude are visible as brightness differences. Contrasting methods like phase contrast, modulation contrast, differential interference contrast, often used in living samples, convert phase shifts into intensity. Staining and fluorescence techniques, like immunofluorescence or the use of fluorescent proteins, are used to make selected structures or proteins visible. Thus, to optimize the use of a microscope it is reasonable to learn more about its basic characteristics.

Interactive Tutorials

Useful Links

Communities and Web Sources

www.researchgate.net/Social network for scientists

www.ibiology.org/Teaching tools, video lectures on biology and microscopy

bitesizebio.comOnline magazine and community for molecular and cell biology researchers

www.somersault1824.comResource for high-end scientific illustrations, images and animations

Search Engines and Data Bases

www.cellimagelibrary.orgPublic resource database of images, videos, and animations of cells

harvester.fzk.de/harvesterBioinformatic meta search engine for genes and proteins

www.gopubmed.comSearch interface for pubmed

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_academic_databases_and_search_enginesList of academic databases and search engines

scholar.google.comBeta of Google's search engine for scientific article abstracts

Journals

www.doaj.org/Directory of open access journals

www.lifescied.orgCBE-Life Sciences Education – an ASCB online journal

www.sciencemag.org/Science

www.nature.com/Nature

www.cell.com/Biweekly publication of exceptional research articles

jcs.biologists.org/Journal of Cell Science

dev.biologists.org/Development

jeb.biologists.org/The Journal of Experimental Biology

dmm.biologists.org/DMM Disease Models & Mechanisms

www.biotechniques.com/International Journal of Life Science Methods

www.opticsinfobase.org/Collection of Journals and Proceedings in Optics and Photonics

spie.org/x576.xmlSPIE - peer-reviewed journals on applied research in optics and photonics

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1864-0648Journal of Biophotonics

www.plosone.org/home.actionInternational, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/Proceedings B - the Royal Society's biological research journal

www.microscopy-analysis.com/International Journal for microscopists

www.optoiq.com/index/biophotonics/biomedical-imaging/bow-microscopy.htmlNews and features on biomedical microscopy

Organizations / Institutes

www.microscopy.org/Microscopy Society of America

www.eurmicsoc.org/European Microscopy Society

www.rms.org.uk/Royal Microscopical Society

http://www.doitpoms.ac.ukTutorials on microscopy for materials science; University of Cambridge, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

www.ascb.org/ASCB American Society of Cell Biology

www.biologists.com/cob_activities.htmlthe company of biologists

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