Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The transparent organism: EMBLEM and Carl Zeiss give labs a unique look at life

01.04.2005


A novel high-tech microscope will be brought to the marketplace, giving laboratories everywhere fascinating new insights into living organisms. EMBLEM Technology Transfer GmbH (EMBLEM), the commercial entity of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), announced today that it has signed a licensing deal with technological leader Carl Zeiss to commercialise a new technology called SPIM (Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy).



“Microscopes have to evolve to keep up with the demands of modern science,” says Ernst Stelzer, whose group at EMBL developed SPIM. “Molecular biology has graduated upwards from studying single molecules – now we need to watch complex, three-dimensional processes in whole, living organisms. SPIM allows us to do that with unprecedented quality.”

In a series of technical innovations, Stelzer and his colleagues (in particular Jim Swoger and Jan Huisken) have made it possible to make three-dimensional films of the inner workings of living organisms at a much higher level of detail than ever before.


One innovation of SPIM is the illumination of a sample from the side rather than along the traditional view of the microscope lens. This eliminates a problem that has plagued three-dimensional microscopy in the past: researchers could obtain excellent resolution in the plane of the microscope slide, but resolution along the direction of the viewer was very fuzzy. In SPIM, a sample is passed through a thin sheet of light, capturing high-quality images layer-by-layer. The sample can be rotated and viewed along different directions, further eliminating the blurry and unwanted light which prevented scientists from looking deep into tissues in the past. The entire procedure is very fast and in a computer supported post-processing step, one or more stacks of images are assembled into a high-resolution film.

Another advantage of SPIM is that the specimen is kept alive in a liquid-filled chamber, allowing scientists to track developmental processes like the formation of eyes and the brain in embryonic fish or other model organisms.

The presentation of SPIM at scientific conferences has generated a flood of requests for the instrument. “We were extremely pleased to have found Carl Zeiss as an excellent partner to translate this technology into a product,” says Dr. Martin Raditsch, Deputy Managing Director of EMBLEM.

EMBL Director-General Prof. Fotis Kafatos and EMBL Group Leader Dr. Ernst Stelzer met with the Member of the Executive Board of the Carl Zeiss Group, Dr. Norbert Gorny and with the Executive Vice President & General Manager of the Business Group Microscopy from Carl Zeiss, Dr. Ulrich Simon, last month to finalize the details. “We see the SPIM technology as an ideal approach for satisfying the growing demand in highly resolved image information from living organisms. The products based on this technology will form a perfect match with our lines of confocal and multiphoton 3D-imaging systems,” says Dr. Simon.

The agreement between EMBL and Carl Zeiss includes a common cooperation project for method optimization and product development.

Trista Dawson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.embl.org/aboutus/news/press/2005/press31mar05.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>