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The Microscope - Volume 56, Second Quarter 2008


Editorial | Tough Times Demand Tough Solutions

Gary J. Laughlin
The Microscope 56 (2), p ii
Excerpt: In these tough economic times it is good to know that the demand for microscopy education and research continues to grow. As a scientific instrument, the microscope is unsurpassed in its ability to solve or at least help solve almost any analytical problem. The most important accessory to the instrument is the microscopist and a good barometer of the situation is the McCrone Research Institute and its student totals through the years.  Full article (PDF)

Dr. Osamu Shimomura 2005 Émile M. Chamot Award Recipient, 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Meggan King
The Microscope 56 (2), pp 51 – 52
Excerpt: In 2005, the State Microscopical Society of Illinois (SMSI) awarded Dr. Osamu Shimomura the Émile M. Chamot award for his for contributions to Fluorescence Microscopy by isolating aequorin and green fluorescent protein (GFP). This year he will share the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien. Shimomura was the first person to isolate GFP and determine which part of GFP was responsible for its fluorescence. He was interested in understanding the chemistry and biochemistry involved in the green glow of GFPFull article (PDF)

Reflected Light COL (Circular Oblique Illumination), an Almost Forgotten Technique

Theodore M. Clarke
The Microscope 56 (2), pp 53 – 60
Abstract: I recently designed and made an epi-illuminator module for my LOMO Biolam microscope. Initially I wanted metallographic imaging capability comparable to that which I made for my first student microscope (1). This time, I decided to add the capability of inserting a stop for COL, referred to in a 1935 Kodak book as conical illumination (2). I was also aware from J.S. Ploem’s 1990 article in the Journal of Microscopy that this type of illumination is used for reflection contrast microscopy (RCM) with a Leitz Orthoplan microscope adapted for RCM (3). Experiments with the new illuminator demonstrate that COL significantly improves contrast with metallographic specimens and that the contrast is unexpectedly good with the diatom Amphipleura pellucida well resolved, but accompanied by interference color bands.  Full article (PDF)

Investigation and Mitigation of Fumed Alumina Processing Problem

Kevin G. Boto and Soundar S. Kumaran
The Microscope 56 (2), pp 61 – 65
Abstract: Cabot Corporation produces fumed alumina for a variety of end users. This material consists of elongated, branched, “fractal” particles (aggregates) of ca. 200 nm equivalent spherical diameter, and with high surface areas, 55 to 100 m2/g, depending on grade. An end user had reported filtration problems with dispersions made from one of the alumina products. This paper describes how polarized light microscopy (PLM) was used to determine that unwanted formation of alpha alumina particles was the main contributor to the filtration problems. A PLM method was then developed to screen the product prior to release.  Full article (PDF)

Inter Micro — The First 60 Years

Brian J. Ford
The Microscope 56 (2), pp 67 – 85
Summary: This year marks the 60th anniversary of the first microscopy conference with which Walter McCrone was concerned. To mark the event, the 2008 “Evening with Brian” took the form of a cruise on Lake Michigan during which Brian J. Ford gave an account of the past sixty years. In his illustrated lecture, Brian recounted the history of the conferences from a personal perspective and, with a series of video inserts, reminded delegates of times past. This paper is based on that presentation and sets out Brian’s account of a unique series of meetings.  Full article (PDF)

Extreme Microchemistry

Sebastian B. Sparenga
The Microscope 56 (2), pp 87 – 93
Abstract: These days, people use the word extreme to describe just about everything, including extreme-Frisbee, extreme-fishing, and even extreme-walking. Why not microchemistry?! A case example involving the microchemical analysis of glass samples to test for differences between original Pyrex kitchenware and new Pyrex kitchenware will be discussed. The microchemical portion of the procedure requires much practice and patience, hence warranting the “extreme” title.  Full article (PDF)

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