Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A "how to" in probe selection by Mike Davidson

What are you wondering about fluorescent probes in advanced microscopy applications? Tomorrow you'll have the chance to ask an expert in the field.

Join me and Mike Davidson, who heads the optical microscopy department of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, for an interactive webcast at 3pm ET. Mike will be advising us How to Choose Probes for Super-Resolution Microscopy (http://www.bioopticsworld.com/webcasts/2011/11/probes-for-super-resolution-microscopy.html), and his presentation will conclude with a Q&A session.

In recent years, life scientists have seen a dramatic advances in tools for fluorescent microscopy - both in terms of probes and instruments. The changes have enabled work previously only dreamed of: examination of molecular interactions with localization specificity, at resolutions approaching an order of magnitude beneath the classical diffraction limit.

Come hear Davidson, a renowned microscopist, discuss the various modes of super-resolution imaging and advances in probe development for each one - and bring your questions. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First optogenetics system

Optogenetics has been a hot topic at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting for the past few years. Now, with the 2011 edition, the event has seen the first introduction of an optogenetics-specific product.

The Spectralynx system aims to facilitate "a turnkey, out-of-the-box experience with optogenetic hardware and software," at a lower price than multiple-laser systems. Offering power OVER 100 mW/mm2, the unit comes in two- (orange and blue) and four- (plus green and red) color versions. Both versions can be expanded up to seven colors, and all colors can be pulsed up to 5 kHz at full power.

The system, offered by Neuralynx (Bozeman, MT), was designed by Alex Cadotte, Ph.D., a biomedical engineer who used optogenetics for his neuroscience research in Pediatric Neurology at the University of Florida. Cadotte says that because no turnkey option existed, the learning curve for doing optogenetics was steep and time-consuming. Moving to industry, he sought to create an easy to use, integrated solution, and found a willing partner in Neuralynx, provider of recording systems for electrophysiology and neuroscience research.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Correlative microscopy a theme at Neuroscience 2011

One of the themes here at Neuroscience 2011 is correlative microscopy--the integration of electron and light microscopy--evidenced by yesterday's announcement that FEI Company, developer of electron and ion-beam microscopes, is acquiring Till Photonics from Toptica. The announcement came about one hour after the conclusion of a press conference by Carl Zeiss Microscopy--the company that has resulted from the merger of Carl Zeiss MicroImaging (which focused on light microscopy) with Carl Zeiss NTS (nanotechnology systems, focused on electron and charged-particle microscopy).