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Microscopy in Cell Biology


Instructor: Benjamin Carlson
Microscopy has been revolutionized by fluorescence and now provides a vast array of tools with which to investigate biology. This module will cover the principles and possibilities of microscopy – how microscopes and photon-­‐based imaging systems work and what you can do with them. How do you visualize the morphology of microscopic objects using light and fluorescence? Which imaging modality is best for a particular sample? How do you gain information on the dynamics of systems such as the spatial and temporal patterns of signaling events? How do you extract quantitative information from images?

We will discuss a range of techniques with a heavy emphasis on imaging living samples from microbes to vertebrate animals -­‐ Widefield imaging, optical sectioning by confocals, multi-­‐ photon excitation, TIRF, image processing and analysis, protein dynamics, choosing and exploiting fluorescent proteins/probes and super-­‐resolution microscopy. The theory and physical principles of the imaging systems will be explained to a level giving understanding of how they work and guidance for optimal use.



Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts, et al., - Chapter 9 (focus on the sections discussing light/fluorescence microscopy)