MICSCAPE - Exploring the miniature world

Issue 250 : January 2017 (ISSN 1365 - 070x) Monthly, next issue February 13th 2017.

Our 250th issue! Thank you to all the contributors since November 1995 and our visitors for supporting the venture.
Thank you to my friend and colleague Mol Smith for having the idea and for all his behind the scenes admin over the years on the site.

A radiolarian protist.
Image by Richard Howey.

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About Micscape

Micscape Contacts
Micscape Editor:
David Walker

parent site coordinator:
Maurice Smith

Please do not contact the above for image permissions. Each article contributor retains the copyright to their material so should be contacted directly via the link in the relevant article. Thank you.

Comments on Micscape and contributions welcomed.
Contributions: Any modern format welcomed i.e. pdf. doc/docx with embedded images, or html + jpegs.

A microscopic life (or) the memories of a very old microscopist - Manuel del Cerro (USA) shares and illustrates aspects of his enthusiasm for the microscopic world in his youth and a career in medicine that involved using both optical microscopes and early commercial electron microscopes.

The nightmare of classifying protozoa (and other protists) - Richard Howey (USA) surveys a subject that can pose problems for the hobbyist.

A non-intrusive LED Conversion of the Zeiss 12v 60w Lamphouse - Forbes Pettigrew (Venezuela) shares this project for a widely used lamphouse on Zeiss stands.

Epi-illumination with a cellphone flash LED - Alejandro Ariel Garcia Arriaga (Mexico) illustrates how to use the powerful light on a typical camera phone for incident light studies.  PDF

A sponge with a tail - Richard Howey (USA) describes and illustrates the intriguing microstructures including spicules that are typical of sponges, selecting one example in particular.

Transmitted near infrared (NIR) lighting - Alejandro Ariel Garcia Arriaga (Mexico) continues his studies with a commercial camcorder with near IR capabilities. PDF

From the archives: Articles from  January - March issues 10 years ago in 2007.

Making your own paraffin sections @ home: Part 1 - Yvan Lindekens (Belgium) presents and illustrates practical methods using techniques and materials available to the enthusiast.

Neophyte emergence - Charles Suslavage (USA) shares his enthusiasm for amateur microscopy as a hobby.

The ultimate upgrade - Steve Beats (UK) shares his enjoyment and experiences of using an advanced stand such as the Zeiss ICM 405 research microscope.

A gallery of tetramethyldiaminodiphenylmethane photomicrographs (using a variety of illumination techniques) - Brian Johnston (Canada) presents attractive images of this chemical.

The iris diaphragm. Prospects of repair? - Paul James (UK) presents a valuable survey of the likely causes of iris faults and provides an illustrated procedure for a typical repair.

Topical tip: the versatile 'light panel' - the new slim line light box for viewing 35 mm slides has a variety of uses; a selection are compiled by David Walker (UK).

    In Focus.
    Central London, January 23rd. Evening talk on 3D electron microscopy, all welcome.
    Thank you to Richard Whitehead who writes:
    I have organised a free talk which may be of interest to your members. It is by a researcher from the Francis Crick Institute, who will talk about 3D electron microscopy. It will be in central London on the evening of 23rd January.
    I am trying to raise interest for the talk; if you think your members might be interested, please can you tell them about it? There is no commercial aspect to the talk.

    . Curious: The Craft of Microscopy by Susanna Edwards, published 2010. The Editor is currently enjoying reading a copy of this attractively presented book. The author tells us that copies are still available for £20 plus postage. Follow the link for book details and contact information.
    Quote below from the first part of the author's description:
    "A research project that involved residencies at the Science Museum, London and University College London, culminating in a hardback artist's book and exhibition at The Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, London [in 2010].
    A collection of 19th century slides have been digitally photographed through microscopes dating from the late-18th century to the present day.
    Curious uses the theme of microscopy as a vehicle to open up a wider debate on the effect of new technologies on craft, art and science. The slide collection used was found in a second-hand shop, probably gathered by an amateur collector, covering much of the natural world in its subject matter."


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!


Look for that elusive article on our site:
Micscape Magazine past issues online
(read articles online using the original illustrated index for each month).
Article Library (browse articles by category)
Automated Search (a search engine for keyword searches in all articles)
Contributor index (a list of all Micscape contributors to date)
News - special notices - misc.

External links. Updated June 2016. 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.
forums, galleries, articles on macroscopy and photomicrography.

Yahoo groups: a 'P' denotes current and archived messages are public i.e. not limited to members.
Amateur Microscopy P (started November 2008)
Yahoo Diatom Forum P
Microscope P (>1500 members, very active)
Wild M20 microscope
microcosmo (for Italian speaking enthusiasts)
CombineZ P stacking software forum created by the software's author

Facebook groups:
Amateur Microscopy (>1000 members, very active)

'Forum for marine, freshwater and terrestrial algae'. Access to Archives possible for non-subscribers.
Diatom-L 'Research on the diatom algae.' Access to Archives for subscribers only. Link was current March 2016. Many online diatom resources point to an outdated Indiana Univ. listserver. (With thanks to Rob Kimmich for the current link.)

Mikroskopie-Treff.de (Extensive German microscopy forum; some English categories.)
Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V. Wide range of articles and resources in German.
Le Naturaliste French based forum and image gallery for micro / macro but open to non French speaking international contributors.

Other sites (also see Societies and Clubs page.)
Royal Microscopy Society Journal, 'infocus' and other resources for members and the community.
Quekett Microscopical Club Journal, Bulletin and meetings for members.
Light Microscopy Forum links and articles
Little Imp Publications public domain books collated by Steve Gill formerly on CD and now free on Micscape.
Mikroskop Museum German website with resources on microscopes / makers .
Molecular Expressions awesome optical microscopy resources
Dennis Kunkel's SEM images stunning images
Diatoms Ireland - resource site by Leszek Wolnik
Leitz museum an illustrated resource compiled by Robert Allen
Microbe hunter a free monthly microscopy enthusiast magazine edited by Oliver Kim
Microscopies online magazine and Forum for French speakers
Micrographia articles, projects for the enthusiast
Microscopy Today
journal with online archive
Modern Microscopy
online journal by McCrone Group
Fun Science Gallery projects, articles on optics
Independent Generation of Research (IGoR) - Wiki style resource for citizen scientists to share their work.
G. Couger's microscopy links extensive links
Lens On Leeuwenhoek - extensive resource online by Douglas Anderson
Collected Letters of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek ('Alle de Brieven ..') transcribed and free online at DBNL.
A Cabinet of Curiosities a resource on Victorian microscope slides by Howard Lynk
Klaus Kemp's 'Diatoms' website - offers regional strews and arranged prepared slides of diatoms, an 8 form test slide, radiolaria, insect scales etc and prepares arranged slides on commission.
'Diatoms Ireland' resource by Leszek Wolnik
Historical makers of microscopes and microscope slides Brian Stevenson's extensive resource .
Victorian slide makers
Cambridge rocking microtome resources including manual
www.willemsmicroscope.com Dutch enthusiast Willem Cramer's website
David Jackson's Better Microscopy blog. Regularly updated free resources extending from his 'Better Microscopy' series of books.
Stefano Barone's Diatom Shop
sale of his own prepared and arranged slides of diatoms, radiolaria and forams.

Stefano Barone's 'Microworlds' blog regularly updated blog and diary where Stefano showcases and discusses the typical examples of the slides he has prepared.

Microscopy-UK and Micscape - established 1995
Micscape is a free magazine for enthusiasts funded by Microscopy-UK and dedicated to non-commercial microscopy.
© Onview.net Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved. Main site is at www.microscopy-uk.org.uk