A study in Nature Communications describes a new method of electron microscopy, says Popular Science's Rebecca Boyle — one that could allow researchers to see living cells in high resolution without the need for staining, and possibly harming, them. "It's called electron ptychography, and it enables a dramatic improvement in the resolution of the best-available microscopes," Boyle says. "The system reconstructs an image from the electron waves scattered by a sample, and has no fundamental experimental limits imposed by constraints like blurry glass or wavelengths of visible light." John Rodenburg, of the University of Sheffield in the UK, led the research team that developed this method. In a statement, he said this approach would allow researchers to see "how atoms sit next to one another in a solid object."
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Mar 09, 2012