Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blood Cells

These pictures were captured with the DC5-163 digital microscope. In order to prepare the blood cells, an employee at Microscope World used a clean needle to prick his finger and placed a small drop of blood on a blank glass microscope slide. A cover slip was immediately placed over the small drop of blood and it was given time to dry. While the specimen was drying, the employee used an alcohol swab to clean his pricked finger and put a bandage on it to keep bacteria out it.

These images were captured at 400x magnification. Notice how many cells fill the field of view at 400x magnification! The larger gray areas are air pockets that were caught between the slide and cover slip.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Microscope Project: Mouth Smear

For today's microscope project you will need a compound high power microscope, a blank microscope slide, and a cover slip. Take a toothpick or a Q-Tip and gently swipe the inside of your cheek. Place the specimen from inside your mouth on the blank microscope slide and cover with a cover slip.

Place the slide you just prepared under the microscope and start at the lowest (40x) magnification. Once you get the specimen in focus, move up to 100x and then 400x magnification.

Human Cheek Cells, captured at 400x magnification.

Draw a picture of what you see through the microscope. Can you identify the individual cells from your cheek? Identify the nucleus of these cells as well. Notice the different number of cells you can see in your field of view at 100x versus 400x magnification.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swift Lab Manual

Swift Microscopes recently introduced a lab manual for learning biology with a digital microscope. The digital microscope lab manual is geared toward high school biology courses, but can be used for other grades as well. The manual is full of activities that meet specific state biology and life science standards for teaching. Learn more about the Swift Lab Manual here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Swift M5S Microscope Sale!

For a limited time only save $221 off the Swift M5S biological microscope! This Swift microscope has semi-plan objectives (4x, 10x, 40x, 100x) and a 20w halogen illuminator with dimmer switch. An ideal microscope for college laboratories, veterinary and medical applications.

Originally $1,170, for a limited time only $949!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Microscope Project: salt and sugar

For this activity you will need some items found in the kitchen. Gather some table salt, sugar (try sugar in the raw as well as refined white sugar), pepper and any other colorful spices. You may even want to gather a few oats or dried beans such as lentils or black beans to look at.

You may also want to look at some breakfast cereal flakes. Try a few different shapes and sizes.

You will need a low power (stereo) microscope such as the National Optical 446TBL microscope shown below.
Start with the smaller granular items. Turn on the light beneath the stage and sprinkle just a few pieces of sugar on the stage. Start out at 10x magnification and then move up higher to 30x magnification. How do the grains of salt differ from the granules of sugar?

Draw a few images of the differences between the salt and the sugar.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bacteria Microscope Project

This is a great project you can do at home or school with your microscope. You will need the following items:

compound microscope
plain yogurt (with live and active cultures)
well depression slide
cover slip
distilled water

Put a small drop of yogurt into the depression on your slide (about the size of a pea). Add one drop of distilled water to the yogurt and cover with the cover slip.

Start with the microscope at the lowest magnification (40x). Locate the bacteria. If you have trouble finding it you may have placed too much on the slide - wipe a bit off so it is in a thin layer and try again. Once you locate the bacteria, move the magnification up to 100x and then 400x.

Can you identify the types of bacteria you found? Draw a picture of the bacteria and label it.