(ISSN 1365 - 070x)

Exploring the miniature world

Issue 134: December 2006.
Next update Jan. 13th. 


Images right by Yvan Lindekens showing mitosis in plant root cells
using microtechniques possible at home.


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Issue 134 - December 2006 : Articles this month

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    In focus:  Updated Dec. 21st.

    'Diffracted light contrast: Improving the resolution of a basic light microscope by an order of magnitude' by W. Barry Piekos, Yale Univ. This article in the November 2006 issue of 'Microscopy Today' has, not surprisingly, prompted interest and discussions amongst microscopy enthusiasts, both in the public forums, i.e. see Yahoo Microscopes forum thread and personal communications. Essentially a very simple stop at the plane of the field lens iris and defocussed with condenser is reported to offer considerable benefits. As the practical aspects of the technique as reported seem repeatable by the enthusiast, it offers an opportunity to assess the technique on our own set-ups.
    A pdf of the November 2006 article is hosted on Micscape with the kind permission of the 'Microscopy Today' Editor, Ron Anderson. The public domain US Patent 6,600,598 (2003) and an earlier paper in Microscopy Research and Technique describes the procedure but not the newer reports in the most recent article. ('Microscopy Today' is available as a free subscription to North American readers.)

    With thanks to two Micscape contributors for bringing this article and related resources to our attention.

    Dec. 21st 'DLC' update. The author Barry Piekos has kindly sent us a recent image of the well known test diatom Frustulia rhomboides taken with DLC. Barry remarks: 'the striae in F. rhomboides have a periodicity of ~300 nm and they are easily resolved using my DLC technique. Indeed, it appears as though the dots are resolved in the upper left corner of the diatom'. Details supplied: Leitz plan fluotar 40x NA0.70 objective. Leitz Diaplan microscope. 40 mm opaque stop used at field iris plane as described for DLC. Image shared with author's permission.

    Olympus Bioscapes 2006: The results of the 2006 Olympus Bioscapes International Digital Imaging Competition are online. Congratulations to the winners and hon. mentions.

    Downloadable Micscape issues: these have only been available for the last three years to subscribers, but we are finding that the majority of subscribers don't take up the download offer but simply wish to support the venture. So we now offer them free to all readers now that broadband is becoming widely available.

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December 1997

December 1998

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We are delighted to receive contributions small or large from microscopy enthusiasts whether a novice or expert. If you have an image, tip or article, why not share it, this magazine is what you make it! Have a chat with us, to see how we can help share your interests. Submission guidelines.

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    Send us your news and meeting notices of interest to optical microscopy enthusiasts and we will be pleased to share them.
External links. Below are some of our favourites, which includes sites with extensive links and/or resources for the optical microscopy enthusiast.

External Microscopy forums:
Places to discuss the hobby or to raise queries.

www.amateurmicrography.net forums, galleries, articles 
www.photomacrography.net forums, galleries, articles


Yahoo groups: a 'P' denotes current and archived messages are public i.e. not limited to members.
'Microscope' P (>1500 members, very active)
'Microscopehobby'  P (started Apr 2005)
'RealMicroscopy'  P
(started Sep 2005)
Microscopio' for Spanish speakers

'Wild M20 microscope'
'Nikon Coolpix photomicro and macrophoto'
'microcosmo'  (for Italian speaking enthusiasts)

(Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)

Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. wide range of articles and resources in German.

Other sites
Clubs / Socs (Pro/Am) Mic-UK links page
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books on CD, 'The Amateur Diatomist' paper magazine
Mikroskop Museum German website with resources on microscopes / makers.

Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Microscopies online magazine and Forum  for French speakers
Micrographia articles, projects for the enthusiast
Microscopy Today
paper journal with online archive
Modern Microscopy
online journal by McCrone Group
Fun Science Gallery projects, articles on optics
G. Couger's microscopy links extensive links
Society for Amateur Scientists resources and support
www.viewsfromscience.com projects e.g. chilled stage for crystal growth studies and LED fluorescence
www.amateurmicrography.net  articles and other resources

Web rings
Lightscapes polarised light macroscopy/microscopy, both artistic and scientific.

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