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AFM-based Virtual Nanohand Proposed for Stable Nanomanipulation
Apr. 14, 2014

AFM-based Virtual Nanohand Proposed for Stable Nanomanipulation

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has become a promising tool for manipulating nano-objects to fabricate nano-structures or nano-devices. However, there are still some challenges facing the development of an AFM based robotic nanomanipulation system, such as the uncertainties associated with AFM tip and nanoparticles, the single point force and interaction between the tip and nanoparticles, and the parameter calibration of models being used. This work was published in IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine.
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Atomic Force Microscopy: Short, Flexible, Reusable AFM Probe
Apr. 11, 2014

Atomic Force Microscopy: Short, Flexible, Reusable AFM Probe

An AFM probe is a cantilever, shaped like a tiny diving board with a small, atomic-scale point on the free end. To measure forces at the molecular scale in a liquid, the probe attaches its tip to a molecule such as a protein and pulls; the resulting deflection of the cantilever is measured. The forces are in the realm of piconewtons, or trillionths of a newton. One newton is roughly the weight of a small apple. The new probe design, described in ACS Nano, is the JILA research group's third recent advance in AFM technology. more
Apr. 10, 2014

Tracking the HI Virus with High-Resolution Microscopy

Experts from science and industry are working on new methods of microscopy and advancing microscopy technology to improve our ability to study and understand the molecular processes of HIV infection. Last year, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) approved approx. 4.6 million euros for this joint project called "Chemical Switches and Click Chemistry for High-resolution Microscopy". Meanwhile preparations for the start of the project are complete. The three-year "Switch Click Microscopy" project will involve scientists from Heidelberg University and Heidelberg University Hospital, the University of Würzburg, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg as well as experts from four companies. The project coordinator is Prof. Dr. Dirk-Peter Herten, a member of the CellNetworks Cluster of Excellence who also works at the Institute for Physical Chemistry at Heidelberg University.
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Apr. 09, 2014

Liquid STEM: Direct Detection of Individual Subunits of Protein Complexes

Assemblies of proteins, known as protein complexes, have important functions in cells; protein complexes embedded in the cell membrane, for example, are responsible for the exchange with the extracellular environment. But because they are very small, their composition from subunits can only be determined indirectly or with extreme time-effort. Scientists at the INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials are currently developing a novel microscopy technology, liquid Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy, for the direct detection of such individual subunits of protein complexes in the cell membrane of intact cells.
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Light Sheet Microscopy: Seeing More with Curved Sheets of Light
Apr. 08, 2014

Light Sheet Microscopy: Seeing More with Curved Sheets of Light

Scientists have developed a new light sheet microscope which enables a dramatically improved view of biological cells. The researchers, at the University of St Andrews, have found a way to see far more detail thanks to an unusually curved beam of light. The innovative development, using curved surfaces (sheets) of light, provides essential information over a ten times larger volume.It is hoped that the development will lead to improved understanding of biological development, cancer, and diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington that affect the human brain. The research is published in the May issue of Nature Methods.
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3D Super-Resolution Microscopy: A New Understanding of Bacterial Division
Apr. 07, 2014

3D Super-Resolution Microscopy: A New Understanding of Bacterial Division

Scientists at EPFL have used a super-resolution microscopy technique to understand how bacteria divide. Their findings refute conventional models and can pave the way for the development of new antibiotics. The results have been published in PNAS.
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XFEL Technology: Superbright and Fast X-Rays Image Single Layer of Proteins
Apr. 04, 2014

XFEL Technology: Superbright and Fast X-Rays Image Single Layer of Proteins

In biology, a protein's shape is key to understanding how it causes disease or toxicity. Researchers who use X-rays to take snapshots of proteins need a billion copies of the same protein stacked and packed into a neat crystal. Now, scientists using exceptionally bright and fast X-rays can take a picture that rivals conventional methods with a sheet of proteins just one protein molecule thick.
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Structured Illumination Microscopy: Chemical Probe Profiles Live-cell Organelle Activity
Apr. 02, 2014

Structured Illumination Microscopy: Chemical Probe Profiles Live-cell Organelle Activity

A team of scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory synthesized a chemical activity-based probe (ABP) that can provide new information about how living cells function. The new ABP is designed to enter a living cell without interacting with anything until it enters a specific organelle: the lysosome. This proof-of-concept ABP then labels only functionally active enzymes called cathepsins, which are cysteine proteases, in the lysosome. Using proteomics and super-resolution microscopy to view these labeled enzymes, the scientists now are able to see organellar activity. Their work, which demonstrates the ability to manipulate chemistry to better understand biology, has been published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
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Imaging & Microscopy Issue 2, 2014 as free epaper or pdf download