Microscopy: Enter, the nanoscope

    Nature Methods doi:10.1038/nmeth.1214 (2008)

    A high-resolution microscope built in Germany can capture three-dimensional images of proteins within tiny cellular organelles such as mitochondria.

    Traditional fluorescence microscopes image a sample 'slice-by-slice' and then assemble those images into a three-dimensional picture. They usually handle slices more than 200 nanometres thick. Alexander Egner and Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and their co-workers have created a 'nanoscope' that improves resolution in three dimensions and can image slices measuring about 40 nanometres across.

    The researchers used their invention to build up a picture of the distribution of a fluorescently labelled protein called Tom20 in mitochondria. They found that Tom20 forms clusters in the outer mitochondrial membrane.

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    Microscopy: Enter, the nanoscope. Nature 453, 430 (2008) doi:10.1038/453430b

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