Monday, February 27, 2012

Measuring Angles

Need to measure specific angles with your microscope? You might find a cross-line eyepiece reticle useful.
A microscope eyepiece reticle is a small piece of glass with a ruler or in this case, angles, printed on the glass. It fits inside the microscope eyepiece. When looking through a microscope fitted with an eyepiece reticle, the measuring angle or ruler is imposed upon your specimen.

When using an eyepiece reticle with specific distances between lines (such as the ruler reticle shown below), it is important to calibrate the microscope with a stage micrometer. Learn more about microscope calibration here.

You can view a large variety of  microscope eyepiece reticles here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Swift Stereo Microscopes is excited to announce three new Swift SM101 series of stereo microscopes to the existing line.

This stereo microscope is available either as a cordless, rechargeable microscope, or a corded microscope. With three LED lighting options, specimens can be illuminated from beneath the stage, from the angled light above the stage, or from the LED lights that create a ring around the upper objective lens.

The Swift stereo microscope is available in three versions:
  • SM101 - 10x & 30x magnification
  • SM102 - 20x & 40x magnification
  • SM105 - 10x - 30x zoom magnification
You can order the stereo microscopes online from View all Swift stereo microscopes here.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Larynx and Epi Fluorescence Microscope

The larynx, also commonly called the voice box, is an organ in the neck of amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals involved in breathing, sound production, and protecting the trachea against food aspiration. The larynx houses the vocal cords and manipulates pitch and volume. 

These images of the larynx were captured with the MT6200H Epi Fluorescence Microscope using the  Jenoptik Speed XT Core5 5 mega pixel microscope camera.

Captured using the TRITC filter.

Captured using the FITC filter.

This image was created using both of the above images. The Jenoptik ProgRes Capture Pro software allows images to be layered. You can learn more about the features of the software here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gypsum under Polarizing Microscope

Microscope World originally did a post on gypsum under a biological microscope about a month ago. The same samples used for this original post, were used to capture images under the MT9300 polarizing microscope.

Gypsum captured under a polarizing microscope at 100x magnification.

200x magnification.

400x magnification.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Microscope Digital Camera

The MW1-LD2 is a low cost microscope / camera that is perfect for the classroom, daily quality inspection in manufacturing, or hobby use.

MW1-LD2 camera can be held by hand, or in the included tripod.

Image of a quarter captured with the microscope camera.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Stage Micrometers Available

Microscope World has recently added a number of stage micrometers to its line of measuring tools available to microscope users.

 Above image is from the KR-875 stage micrometer.

Available in either inches or mm, these stage micrometers have a variety of options for measuring. All microscope stage micrometers have the option for NIST certification when purchasing.

You can learn more about how to accurately calibrate your eyepiece reticle in your microscope with a stage micrometer here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Paedocypris (Small Fish)

Paedocypris is a species of fish found in Indonesia in peat swamps and blackwater streams. It is the smallest known fish in the world with females reaching a maximum size of 10.3mm and males 9.8mm.

Image courtesy Aquaristikhaus.

The Paedocypris' miniature transparent body lacks the normal features characteristic of adult fish. For example, a bony skull structure around the brain. They have a unique sexual dimorphism: The males have highly modified pelvic fins, with the first ray terminating with a hook-like projection of keratinized skin. Males also have a pad of keratinized skin in front of the pelvic fins. It is hypothesized that these modified fins are used to grasp the female during mating, or to keep position over a spawning surface.

Female Paedocypris captured with the Jenoptik C5 microscope camera.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Human Tumor under the Microscope

Human tumors are an abnormal growth of body tissue. Tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Tumors occur when cells divide excessively in the body. In a healthy individual cell division is strictly controlled. New cells are created to replace old ones, or to perform new functions. Cells that are no longer needed die and make room for healthy replacements.

If the balance of cell division and death is disturbed, a tumor can form. Problems with the immune system can result in tumors. Tobacco is one of the largest causes of tumors in the human body. Other substances that can result in tumors include: Benzene and other chemicals and toxins, poisonous mushrooms, drinking excessive alcohol, obesity, excessive sunlight, radiation and viruses. The types of cancer caused by viruses include cervical cancer (caused by human papillomavirus) and Hepatocellular carcinoma (hepatitis B virus).

Image of human tumor captured with a biological laboratory microscope and the Jenoptik C5 microscope camera.

You can reduce the risk of cancerous tumors by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing sun exposure and not smoking or choosing tobacco.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lungs under the Microscope

The lungs are the essential respiration organ in most air-breathing animals, including fish and a few snails. In mammals the two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart.

Image of the heart and lungs courtesy of 20th US edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body.

The principal function of the lungs is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream, and in turn release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere. This exchange of gases is made possible by special cells that form millions of tiny, exceptionally thin-walled air sacs called alveoli.

Image of lung tissue captured under a biological microscope with the Jenoptik C14+ microscope camera.

The lungs also take on some tasks outside of respiration. They alter the pH of blood by altering partial pressure of carbon dioxide. The lungs filter out small blood clots from veins. They even sometimes serve as a layer of soft shock-absorbent protection for the heart.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Esthesioneuroblastoma under Microscope

Esthesioneuroblastoma is a rare form of cancer involving the nasal cavity. It can cause loss of vision and taste. According to the BBC, there are only 200 cases of the disease that have been recorded worldwide in the past twenty years. Treatment typically involves severe surgical procedures and unfortunately recurrence rates remain high.

Esthesioneuroblastoma captured under a biological microscope using the Jenoptik C5 microscope camera.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chlorella under the Microscope

Chlorella is a genus of single-cell green algae that is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 microns in diameter and without flagella. Through photosynthesis, Chlorella multiplies rapidly, requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight and a small amount of minerals to reproduce.

Chlorella captured with the Jenoptik C5 microscope camera under a fluorescence microscope.

Many people believed Chlorella could serve as a potential source of food and energy because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients. When dried it is about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fiber and 10% minerals and vitamins.

Following fears of an uncontrollable population boom, during the late 1940s and the early 1950s Chlorella was seen as a new and promising food source and a possible solution to the then-current world hunger crisis.  Since the growing world food problem of the 1940s was solved by better crop efficiency and not from a "super food," Chlorella has not seen the kind of public and scientific interest that it had in the 1940s, but it can still be found today from companies promoting its "super-food" effects.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Table Salt & Science

There are a number of science projects you can conduct in your own home with simple table salt. Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. Salt is unique in that it is essential for animal life in small quantities, but it is also harmful to animals and plants in excess.

Science Project: Does Salt Affect the Boiling Temperature of Water?
Purpose: Find out how table salt affects the boiling temperature of water.
Hypothesis: Adding table salt to water will cause the water to boil at a higher temperature (True/False)
Required items: Table salt, distilled water, cooking pot, measuring cup, measuring spoons, thermometer, spoon
Experiment: Boil 1 quart of distilled water. Measure and record temperature of boiling water. Clean pot and add another quart of distilled water along with 1T. of salt and stir. Boil water and record temperature. Repeat above process but this time use 3T. of salt. Did you notice any differences? What are your conclusions? Present your hypothesis along with your conclusions along with data to support them.

All images of table salt captured with the MT9300 polarizing microscope, using the Infinity 2-1 microscope camera. 100x magnification.

100x magnification.

200x magnification.

400x magnification.

You can view table salt under a basic stereo dissecting microscope as well. Notice the different grains of salt and how they vary in size. Table salt is refined salt, which contains about 97% - 99% sodium chloride. It usually also contains substances that make it free-flowing (anti-caking agents) such as sodium silicoaluminate or magnesium carbonate. Some people make their own anti-caking agent by adding a few grains of rice to their salt shaker.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mesenchymaly Cells

Mesenchym is a type of undifferentiated loose connective tissue that is derived mostly from mesoderm. The term mesenchyme essentially refers to the morphology of embryonic cells.

Mesenchymaly cells captured under a fluorescence microscope using the Jenoptik C14+ microscope camera.

All connective tissue is derived from mesenchymal cells. These cells are identified by their star shape, small amount of cytoplasm, and large oval nucleus with prominent nucleoli. There is also a large amount of space surrounding the cells. This is cellular material is predominantly made up of hyaluronic acid and fine reticular fibers.