Jul. 07, 2014
Stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM) has the potential to increase the resolution in fluorescence light microscopy up to tenfold. This helps scientists to get new insights into biological processes and structural details. For STORM fluorophores are utilized that show a blinking behavior  switching between a fluorescent and a nonfluorescent state. This was initially described for pairs of cyanine dyes, one activator dye and one reporter dye  in close proximity to each other. For multicolor STORM the channels are separated by using different activator dyes while the reporter dye is the same in each channel .
moreJun. 26, 2014
The overwhelming majority of past and present imaging systems use a lens to focus the subject of interest, even today's super-resolution light microscopes that breach the diffraction limit through ingenious experimental methods. Lensless imaging offers the prospect of a radical improvement in resolution by reconstructing a high-resolution image of an object from one or more diffraction patterns.
moreJun. 24, 2014
The 14th European Light Microscopy Initiative (ELMI) meeting, which brings together leading scientists from both academia and industry, was held in May at Holmenkollen in Oslo. This year's meeting, playfully described in the closing speeches by one of the Steering Committee as "Exquisite Lifestyle Meets Imaging", was certainly an enjoyable occasion. As many of the participants have been attending regularly since the inception of the ELMI, the start of the conference resembled a family reunion, with greetings and updates between old friends and colleagues. This intimate and relaxed atmosphere continued throughout the 4-day schedule.
moreJun. 03, 2014
The Kavli Prize in Nanoscience is shared between Thomas W. Ebbesen, Université Louis Pasteur, Université de Strasbourg, France, Stefan W. Hell, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany, and Sir John B. Pendry, Imperial College London, UK. They receive the prize "for transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics that have broken long-held beliefs about the limitations of the resolution limits of optical microscopy and imaging".
moreJun. 02, 2014
Synapses are the contacts between nerve cells that allow the flow of information that makes our brains work. However, the molecular architecture of these highly complex structures has been unknown until now. A research team from Göttingen, led by Prof. Silvio O. Rizzoli from the DFG Research Center and Cluster of Excel-lence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CNMPB) of the University Medical Center Göttingen, managed to determine the copy numbers and positions of all important building blocks of a synapse for the first time.
moreMay. 27, 2014
Like our own bodies, cells have their own skeletons called ‘cytoskeletons' and are made of proteins instead of bones. These network-like structures maintain the cell's shape, provide mechanical support, and are involved in critical processes of the cell's lifecycle. The cytoskeleton is an object of intense scientific and medical research, which often requires being able to observe it directly in cells. Ideally, this would involve highly-fluorescent molecules that can bind cytoskeletal proteins with high specificity without being toxic to the cell. Publishing in Nature Methods, EPFL scientists have exploited the properties of a new fluorescent molecule, also developed at EPFL, to generate two powerful probes for the imaging of the cytoskeleton with unprecedented resolution. These probes pave the way for the easier and higher quality imaging of cells, offering many scientific and medical advantages.
moreMay. 13, 2014
A unique collaboration between chemists and mathematicians at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has led to a new super-resolution microscopy technique that enables the study of molecular self-assembly with an unprecedented level of detail. The researchers, led by TU/e professors Bert Meijer (Institute for Complex Molecular Systems) and Remco van der Hofstad (Department of Mathematics and Computer Science), publish their breakthrough in Science. The new technique opens a world of unique opportunities for the study of complex self-assembling materials with many potential applications in electronics, medicine and energy.
moreApr. 30, 2014
This year, PicoQuant will hold the annual workshop on "Single Molecule Spectroscopy and Ultra Sensitive Analysis in the Life Sciences" for the 20th time. It will take place from September 2 to 5, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. On the occasion of the anniversary, the workshop will have an extended schedule including a public keynote lecture by Stefan W. Hell, director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, and winner of the Otto Hahn Medal and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize.
moreApr. 24, 2014
A newly developed super-resolution microscopy technique presented by scientists from the TU Braunschweig and the University of Göttingen improves traditional physical limits of fluorescence microscopy significantly. Their readily applicable high resolution technique allows for very detailed insights, for example, into parts of nerve cells which play a decisive role during learning and memory. The scientists present their results in the scientific journal Nature Methods.
moreApr. 10, 2014
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.