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'Gentle' microscope captures tiny life in action

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Microscopists have been able to peer deep into cells, thanks to fluorescent molecules that stick to cellular structures. But the powerful light sources—often lasers—required to activate the fluorescent molecules also burn them out and spark toxic chemical reactions inside cells. A team led by engineering physicist Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia, has now devised a gentler method, called lattice light-sheet microscopy, that can capture high-resolution 3D images.

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