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Microscope Resources

The Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition® recognizes outstanding images of life science specimens captured through light microscopes, using any magnification, any illumination technique and any brand of equipment.

A broad range of fluorescent protein genetic variants have been developed over the past several years that feature fluorescence emission spectral profiles spanning almost the entire visible light spectrum.

Light is a phenomenon that is explained with a model based on rays and wavefronts. The Olympus Microscopy Resource Center Microscopy Primer explores many of the aspects of visible light starting with an introduction to electromagnetic radiation.

Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) is an elegant optical technique utilized to observe single molecule fluorescence at surfaces and interfaces and is commonly employed to investigate the interaction of molecules with surfaces.

The technique of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), when applied to optical microscopy, permits determination of the approach between two molecules within several nanometers, a distance sufficiently close for molecular interactions to occur.

Confocal microscopy offers several advantages over conventional widefield optical microscopy, including the ability to control depth of field and the capability to collect serial optical sections from thick specimens.

The microscope must accomplish three main tasks: produce a magnified image of the specimen, separate the details in the image, and render the details visible to the human eye or camera.

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Physics of Light and Color

Light is a complex phenomenon that is classically explained with a simple model based on rays and wavefronts. The Olympus Microscopy Resource Center Microscopy Primer explores many of the aspects of visible light starting with an introduction to electromagnetic radiation and continuing through to human vision and the perception of color.

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Basic Concepts in Optical Microscopy

Microscopes are instruments designed to produce magnified visual or photographic images of small objects. The microscope must accomplish three tasks: produce a magnified image of the specimen, separate the details in the image, and render the details visible to the human eye or camera.

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Specialized Microscopy Techniques

Fluorescence illumination and observation is the most rapidly expanding microscopy technique employed today, both in the medical and biological sciences, a fact which has spurred the development of more sophisticated microscopes and numerous fluorescence accessories.

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Digital Imaging in Optical Microscopy

Digitization of a video or electronic image captured through an optical microscope results in a dramatic increase in the ability to enhance features, extract information, or modify the image. When compared to the traditional mechanism of image capture, photomicrography on film, digital imaging and post-acquisition processing enables a reversible, essentially noise-free modification of the image as an ordered matrix of integers rather than a series of analog variations in color and intensity.

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Fluorescence Photomicrography

The use of photography to capture images in a microscope dates back to the invention of the photographic process. Early photomicrographs were remarkable for their quality, but the techniques were laborious and burdened with long exposures and a difficult process for developing emulsion plates.

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