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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society


Let the light shine
Zeiss LSM 710 Confocal Microscope

Image provided by Sultan Doganay, Taekjip Ha Lab

Research Funded by NIH, NSF, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute

One of the challenges of microscopy is that adjacent sources of light, such as two molecules of fluorescent dye, will appear to blur together. This image of the internal structures of animal cells is unusually clear because of the novel technique used to produce it. The fluorescent dyes used here switch between “on” and “off” states, so that in two sequential images, neighboring molecules of dye take turns lighting up. Several images can be combined so that all the dye appears to be “on” at once, but the individual points do not blur together.