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INTRODUCTION TO BIOLOGICAL MICROSCOPY: BIO 308/309 COURSE FORMAT, CONTENT, EXPECTATIONS, AND GRADING SPRING, 2008 LECTURE: This course has been designed to introduce you to the world of microscopy, as microscopes are major research tools in modern cell biology (and in so many other fields as well), tools capable of providing extraordinary amounts of diverse types of information. There is today an almost bewildering array of light microscopes available to the researcher, and we can't begin to do justice to them all. We will focus on a few more or less standard instruments, trying to get a basic understanding of how they work and how to use them effectively. We will start with the light microscope (including brightfield, phase contrast, differential interference contrast (DIC), and fluorescence) and follow with a discussion of the Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (LSCM). In addition to becoming a major instrument in cell research, the LSCM forms an extremely useful bridge between 'regular' light microscopy and electron microscopy - the next microscopes we will to examine. Both transmission and scanning electron microscopes will be covered. We want to look at these instruments from a number of different perspectives: Why we need them - what can they tell us How we use them - in a practical sense How they work - from a more theoretical perspective How we can see specimens - the generation of contrast. ...and of course - the recording and interpretation of the images generated The lecture portion of the course will focus in large part on the theory, design and operation of microscopes. This will include discussions on optics, instrument design, and operational parameters. We will also talk a little about a number of routine specimen preparation techniques used in a microscopy laboratory, as well as the operational theory of the different instruments used for sample preparation. We will find that this approach occupies the bulk of the semester, but we will also try to spend a little time discussing a variety of other more recent kinds of microscopes that have dramatically enhanced our
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