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Microscopy-UK: November 13th 2019 - COMMENT -  24 years running this month

Each month, we receive queries asking us for help or requests to publish an image from our site. We are always happy to  help and respond quickly to every request.

November is the best month to order that microscope you always promised yourself or to give a worthwhile present to someone you love.. We hate to do the commercial thing but its important if people are looking for microscopes. The internet buying method is full of traps and false claims regarding goods for sale, so we decided to write a complete article on how to select the right microscope for the right price.    Here is an informative section of buying a first microscope.

Here is an assortment of quality gifts.      
To inspire you, here is a    BBC video to do just that 

People wonder how much we are visited and if we are pertinent in an internetworld swamped by commercialism, especially since we are one of the only amateur microscopy sites left on the web. Here are a few facts from out logs:
Average visitors per day: 9000 people      Average hits per pay: 76000      Approx. 4 to 5 million visitors per year!

Go to:      Main Material  -    From Around the World or  -     Micscape Magazine      

In Micscape Magazine this month....

Every month, without fail, our free Ezine written by dedicated Amateur Microscopists, continues  to inform and share the explorations of the world's amateur/enthusiasts  community.

Read this month's issue


Refurbished Used Microscopes from Brunel Microscopes.

Find out more about all other used microscopes and accessories on sale, where microscopes are fully re-conditioned to provide affordable quality instruments, with many older instruments having superior optics and build than those sold today.

Remember, older instruments have superior engineering and are still usable, offering better imaging resolution than more expensive modern instruments.

Magnificent Walking Machine

This extraordinary gift for approx. 15.00 will keep a person busy construction a walking machine made entirely of card. No glue, just card from which you pop-out the pieces and assemble using the instructions. A perfect example of clever design.

    More Info/Buy?



(Affordable & Novel, but practical for an inquiring mind too!)

Cardboard Steam Engine?

A fully working real steam engine but entirely made from card! For adults and mature childen alike, this wonderful gift opens the mind to engineering and design. The perfect gift for the bright-minded person. Approx. £40.00
Read more about them?

These great kits are the perfect gifts for any amateur microscopist who really wants to turn microscopy into something more practical or to delve deeper into making slides, examing blood samples, pollen identification, bee keeping, fish keeping, wax-embedding, botanical slide making etc., Prices start at approx. £15.00. Click on an image of a kit to see more. Read more about them?

by Christian Autotte (Canada)

Last September, while kayaking on a quiet lake north of Montreal, I noticed yellowish little dots floating just under the water’s surface. They were everywhere, literally millions of them, drifting in the clear water, even some distance from shore. The largest grain looked to be about 1mm across. I never saw anything like it, except maybe in spring when some trees are in bloom and the water becomes covered with pollen. What were they? I used small test tubes to pick samples. Some were fixed with Gala 20 (see below), others were fixed with alcohol laced with vinegar (acetic acid), and a few were left intact. Back home, I mounted all those specimens for future observations.

Read in PDF Format

A house for Protists
About testate amoebae shells - You don't need brains to be a builder
by Mike Hansell

Moving about naked is a dangerous way of life. Evolution therefore once decided to equip some Amoebae with shells. The structure of the shells is the main distinguishing feature of the Testacea species. I'll show you some typical examples. {more...)

Read in PDF Format

LED illuminator For an Older Microscope
by Steve Neeley (USA)

Vendor – retrodiode.com. They sell their products through eBay and supply custom fitted solutions for various, older, makes & models of scopes (e.g. Leitz, AO, Nikon, B&L, Wild, etc.). My Particular Scope – A Leitz Ortholux I. I was never satisfied with the light output of the original 30-watt, 6-volt incandescent lamp. So, several years ago, with the help of a skilled fellow hobbyist, I switched to a custom-built adapter for a fiber optic replacement solution using a 150-watt, 21-volt halogen lamp. This supplied adjustable, high-intensity illumination and has served me well. {more...)

Read in PDF Format

Bucket Cultures
With Some Attention to Gastrotrichs
Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA

SEM image from Wikipedia.

One summer, I happened to leave a 5-gallon plastic bucket sitting below a hanging planter of lovely lobelia out on our patio. When I watered each morning, the excess would drip down into the bucket. That part of the patio gets a good deal of intense sun and after a couple of weeks, I notice that I was getting a healthy grow of algae–a lovely green scum. I began to keep an eye on the bucket to make sure that there weren’t any “wrigglers” in it; I didn’t want to be responsible for contributing to any growth in the mosquito population. However, I didn’t want to simply discard what might prove to be an interesting source of microscopic critters. {more...)

Read in HTML Format

Trusting Science
by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA

Science, for all its extraordinary methodology, equipment, and pain-staking probing, examining, and testing, also depends upon trust. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have seen, on the part of the public, increasing mistrust in the results of scientific research and in scientists themselves. This is perhaps most evident now regarding the issue of climate change. Powerful economic and political forces want to radically downplay the significance of any change and attribute whatever change they are willing to admit to as natural, cyclic causes which go back millions of years. The most vociferous opponents deny in stentorian style any human contribution to the process and are particularly vehement in the denial of any role which coal, oil, or gas might play. {more...)

Read in HTML Format

Getting the best out of a basic microscope
by Rolf Vossen, The Netherlands

Over the years I have worked with many different kinds of microscopes, ranging from the most basic educational microscope to research microscopes with infinity optics. At a certain point I realised that, when it comes to image quality, there is actually not a big difference between a class room student microscope and a research microscope that you find in a laboratory. Research microscopes can be equipped with special applications like for instance phase contrast, Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) and fluorescence microscopy. With a student microscope you will be more limited but when using brightfield illumination, the difference in image quality between such a simple microscope and a research microscope is not that big as you would image. When the illumination is right, that is. And unfortunately, illumination often is the weakest part in a microscope system. {more...)

Read in PDF Format


Catching Measles Makes You More Susceptible to Other Diseases
Unvaccinated children who contracted the illness lost their immunity to many other infections.

(Inside Science) -- Scientists have discovered one more reason to vaccinate your children against measles: The highly contagious disease cripples the immune system's "memory," leaving people more susceptible to a host of other illnesses. Since 1963, public health officials have had a powerful weapon against measles in the form of a vaccine, but in the past decade the virus has landed some significant counterpunches, hopping nimbly around the world and proliferating in communities with low vaccination rates.

[Source: https://www.insidescience.org/news/catching-measles-makes-you-more-susceptible-other-diseases]

Cheaper Ultra-Sound Imaging?

What Was Science Up To In 1928?

This brilliant site offers new of science discoveries and projects right back to 1928! A small subscription of $25.00 secures you a digital copy sent to your email 22 times a year to see the latest discoveries and enable you to look back in the past to 1928. {more...}-https://www.sciencenews.org/

The 11 Biggest Unanswered Questions About Dark Matter

In the 1930s, a Swiss astronomer named Fritz Zwicky noticed that galaxies in a distant cluster were orbiting one another much faster than they should have been given the amount of visible mass they had. He proposed than an unseen substance, which he called dark matter, might be tugging gravitationally on these galaxies. 

Since then, researchers have confirmed that this mysterious material can be found throughout the cosmos, and that it is six times more abundant than the normal matter that makes up ordinary things like stars and people. Yet despite seeing dark matter throughout the universe, scientists are mostly still scratching their heads over it. Here are the 11 biggest unanswered questions about dark matter. {more...}-https://www.livescience.com/64113-dark-matter-mysteries.html

A new candidate for dark matter and a way to detect it

A new candidate for dark matter and a way to detect it
by Andy Fell, UC Davis

A simulation of the large-scale structure of the universe with filaments of dark matter in blue and places of galaxy formation in yellow. Dark matter cannot yet be detected directly. UC Davis physicists have proposed a new model to explain it. Credit: Zarija Lukic/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Two theoretical physicists at the University of California, Davis have a new candidate for dark matter, and a possible way to detect it. They presented their work June 6 at the Planck 2019 conference in Granada, Spain and it has been submitted for publication.  

Dark matter is thought to make up just over a quarter of our universe, with most of the rest being even-more mysterious dark energy. It cannot be seen directly, but dark matter's presence can be detected because its gravity determines the shape of distant galaxies and other objects.

Many physicists believe that dark matter is made up of some particle yet to be discovered. For some time, the favorite candidate has been the Weakly Interacting Massive Particle or WIMP. But despite years of effort, WIMPs have so far not shown up in experiments designed to detect them. {more...}-- https://phys.org/news/2019-06-candidate-dark.html

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Our stunning Micropolitan Museum created by, and curated by Wim van Egmond from The Netherlands

A complete resource for young people who own a microscope and don't really know what to do with it.

Our physical yearbook is one of our ways of preserving the contributions made here. Take a look.

Micscape Magazine Article Library: thousands of articles from previous issues of Micscape Magazine.
Managed by Brunel Microscopes, it offers everything you to practice Enthusiast Microscopy
in the UK. 

The stunning home site of Wim van Egmond. World ackowledged as a major and significant talent and conributor to the study of Microscopical forms
Stunning 3D close-ups of insects and other small critters. No 3D glasses required!
We publish our very own books styled towards amateur microscopists. Our books cater for children, beginners, and experienced enthusiasts.
Nature and flower lovers adore these macro images and flowers. All with a brilliant account of their processes and beauty.

Lots of articles here to get you started photographing or digital 'snapping' what you see down a microscope.

Introduction to the microscopic organisms like bacteria, and others you can find in a freshwater pond. Comprehensive guide! Great for anyone starting out at looking at pond life.


Crystals are beautiful forms to grow and photograph under the microscope. Be stunned by the profound beauty of Brian Johnston's crystal gallery.
Looking at things for the firsttime in your pond? Let Wim help you identify them here.
Let our set of primers introduce you to using a microscopy and the fascinating world it reveals.

(provided by Brunel Microscopes)
Informed and professional advice for people new to microscopy: different types of illumination, microdscopes & techniques.
Great to get started.


The best way to enjoy microscopy is to join a club. Here they are...

Take a virtual pond dip in our virtual pond and see what lives within.

Bee keepers use microscopes to help maintain their bees This is one of the best resources online for bee keepers (Norfolk Honey)
 by Dennis Kunkel
Fantastic images taken with a scanning Electron Microscope from our friend and contributor to our 3D microscope in Hawaii - Dennis Kunkel.
A 3D microscope where you can load specimen slides online.

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