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Top 5 Microscopy News Stories of 2012

12/19/2012
Andrew S. Wiecek

From microscopy contest winners to ticks that survive electron microscopy, these were some of the top microscopy stories, and images, that BioTechniques covered during 2012.


Microscopy News | 2012 Year in Review

From microscopy contest winners to ticks that survive electron microscopy, these were some of the top microscopy stories, and images, that BioTechniques covered during 2012.

Storified by BioTechniques · Thu, Dec 20 2012 09:43:49

Overthe past year, microscopists have been a busy group. From continuing to adoptand apply super-resolution microscopy techniques for nanoscale imaging to increasedefforts to correlate microscopy data from different approaches such asfluorescent microscopy and electron microscopy, developers made some impressiveadvances in technology last year that led to novel findings about the cellularworld. But microscopy is also about those amazing images we gasp at injournals and on websites, and 2012 did not disappoint. So here is our list of someof the top microscopy stories, and images, from 2012.   
BioTechniques - 2012 Wellcome Image Award WinnersFor the first time, the competition's judging panel has selected a single overall winner from recent additions to the institute's image l...

Since microscopy is all about the images, it’s no surprise thattwo of our top stories from the past year reported on the results of imagingcontests. In June, the winners of the 2012 Wellcome Image Award were announced.For the first time, the competition judges actually selected a single overallwinner–an amazing image of the brain of an epileptic patient. Not to be dismissedthough, the “sweet sixteen” honorable mention gallery included several otherimages that we also enjoyed, including a scanning electron micrograph of alavender leaf and a composite confocal micrograph of a HeLa cell undergoing division.Check out these images, along with the rest of the imageaward winners...

BioTechniques - 2012 Nikon Small World Winners2012 Nikon Small World Winners An image of the blood-brain barrier in a live zebrafish embryo has taken top honors at this year's microsc...
Thesecond gallery of microscopy images readers enjoyed this past year was from the2012 Nikon Small World competition. This year, the winning submission was an imageshowing the blood-brain barrier of a zebrafish during embryonic development. Thisimage was obtained by two researchers at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital who believe that the zebrafishrepresents an excellent model for studying drug transportation across the blood-brainbarrier. Check out the other image award winners...
BioTechniques - Ticks survive SEM imagingTicks survive SEM imaging For the first time, scientists have taken scanning electron microscope images of live ticks. The animals surviv...

Beyond the contest scene, in 2012 Japanese researchersdiscovered that ticks can actually survive the high vacuum pressure and theelectron beams associated with scanning electron microscopy, making these hardylittle creatures the first live organisms to be imaged using EM. Comments fromreaders attest to both the toughness of these insects as well as theircreepiness. Read more about this discovery...   

BioTechniques - VIDEO: Fruit Fly Development in 3DVIDEO: Fruit Fly Development in 3D Using a new selective-plane illumination microscopy technique, researchers have imaged the first hours...
Anothertechnique of interest in 2012 was selective-plane illumination microscopy.While several reports described new advances in the methodology or introducednew applications, nothing caught reader’s interest more than this video of fruitfly development captured in 3D.In one minute and 43 seconds, viewers get a consolidated view of the first 24hours of embryonic development using the technique (think “Big Brother” forfruit flies). One reader simply noted, “That was way cool!” And we agree. Watch the video for yourself...     
BioTechniques - To Detect Small Molecules, Just Add SpinachTo Detect Small Molecules, Just Add Spinach Jeffrey M. Perkel, Ph.D. Researchers have built small-molecule biosensors from a class of mol...

Last, but not least, researchers from Cornell Universityshowed how aptamers could be used to track small molecules more efficientlythan protein-based biosensors. The aptamers, which the authors called Spinach dueto the green fluorophore they bind, can be easily made for any molecule and is actuallybrighter than most protein-based biosensors, giving researchers yet another powerfulimaging tool for their tool box. Learn more...

 

With that, we bid a fond farewell to microscopy in 2012. Butwhat will happen in 2013 when it comes to imaging the microscopic world? Whatdazzling technical advances will we see? What would you like to see? Share yourpredictions and hopes with us on Facebook or Twitter, or add a comment to the sectionbelow.