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three-dimensional images

Clearer images

With a mirror the diameter of a coin affixed to the lenses of a microscope, scientists at research centers in the United States, China and Australia have successfully recorded three-dimensional high-resolution images of extremely small cell structures, such as the pores of membranes and the human respiratory syncytial virus. The technique was described in a journal of the Light: Science and applications group, on June 17, 2016). A light passes through the cell in the direction of a mirror, on which it reflects and then turns back to the cell. This method produces high-resolution images of the two-dimensional axes (height and length) and the three-dimensional axis, perpendicular to the other two axes (depth), thus differentiating very close structures that were previously indistinguishable. With the techniques used currently, researchers grow the cells on transparent glass slides and then analyze them with the help of a microscope. Even with the most advanced microscopes, however, it is very difficult to obtain good-resolution images of the three spatial axes; normally, depth is less well-defined than the other two dimensions. Now the cells can grow directly on the microscope mirrors.