BIOL 2070 Cell Biology Module Notes..docx - BIOL 2070 Cell Biology Module Notes The microscope is a critical piece of equipment in the cell and

BIOL 2070 Cell Biology Module Notes..docx - BIOL 2070 Cell...

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BIOL 2070 Cell Biology Module Notes The microscope is a critical piece of equipment in the cell and molecular laboratory. This module introduces you to brightfield, phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy, and gives you an opportunity to plan, execute and interpret an independent research project. The cell is the basic unit of life, so understanding life means understanding cells and how they work. Unfortunately, most cells are not visible to the naked eye, and even if one were, there would be very little we could see in it. Human eyes detect contrast, the differences in light intensity between an object and its background. For example, differences in colour are a type of contrast – and it turns out that while the cell is jam packed full of ions, molecules, macromolecules, and organelles, all constantly moving and transforming and reacting to generate life, it all produces very little contrast. In order to see a cell and see inside it, then, we need a way to make it appear larger (magnify it), and to have more contrast. But even that is not enough – we also need to be able to resolve different structures, because if a cell is just barely visible to your naked eye as a dot, making that image really large will just let you see a really big dot. What you want to see are the details. Microscopes provide both magnification and resolution, and a variety of microscopic techniques generate the needed contrast. Microscopy, therefore, is one of the most important techniques in modern cell biology. This module will introduce in detail to 3 different types of light microscopy, teaching you how they are used properly, introducing you to different ways of generating contrast, and giving you the opportunity to view and measure different cells in different ways, providing you with an excellent foundation in modern light microscopy.
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In this module you will learn brightfield, phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy. Brightfield microscopes provide magnification and resolving power, but do not enhance contrast. Phase contrast and fluorescence microscopes provide all three, but the contrast is generated in different ways. Kohler Illumination It provides even illumination of the, minimizes glare from stray light, and optimizes contrast and resolution. The trick to kohler illumination is setting up the conjugate planes of the foci – these are planes or spots between the light source and your eye that should all be in focus simultaneously.
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