Friday, 31 October 2014

How to avoid repairs

This time we would like suggest some easy steps that will help you maintain the microscope in perfect conditions, and avoiding possible repairs. You might already know them, but we think it is good to refresh your memory from time to time.

Before using the microscope

Read the instructions manual of the instrument carefully.

Never attempt to disassemble the parts of the instrument, other than the ones described on the manual.

Dust and dirt are two of the main 
causes for malfunction in a microscope.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

And the winner is...the new BA410 Elite with Apochromatic objectives!

The apochromatic correction of a lens system sine dubio defines the ultimate level of optical performance. Ernst Abbe (1840-1905), one of the fathers of modern optics, created this word derived from the Greek origin, meaning “free of colours”. Of course Abbe was talking about the colour abberations of simple optical systems. These abberations are caused by the dependency of refractions on

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer caused by smoking. More than 80% of cases of lung cancer are due to smoking.

Cigarette smoke contains many chemicals that interfere with the body's method of filtering air and cleaning out the lungs. The smoke irritates the lungs and leads to overproduction of mucus. It also paralyses the cilia - tiny hair-like structures that line the airways and clean out dust and dirt. Paralysis of the cilia means mucus and toxic substances accumulate, resulting in congestion of the lungs.

This extra mucus means smokers are more likely to suffer from chronic bronchitis and what is known as 'smoker's cough'.

Cigarette smoke is one of the best known triggers of asthma. When people suffer from asthma their inflamed air passages, which are very sensitive, narrow when exposed to cigarette smoke. This causes an asthma attack.

Long term exposure of the lungs to the irritants in tobacco smoke destroys the normal lung structure. The elastic walls of the small airways within the lungs are broken down. This reduces the amount of lung tissue available for the transfer of oxygen from the air to the blood. This condition is called emphysema. Some degree of emphysema is found in almost all people who are long-term smokers, however the severity will vary depending on the amount of cigarettes smoked, and the number of years the individual smokes.

Damage to the lung tissue is irreversible. Emphysema can be prevented by not smoking, avoiding anything that will irritate the lungs such as dust and cold air, and ensuring any chest infections such as flu and bronchitis are treated properly.

Source: Quit org. au.

Friday, 10 October 2014

An itching subject

Dog fleas are common pests in Europe, Africa and Asia, and are lesser known in North America. They are extremely similar in appearance and behavior to cat fleas, and the two are often times confused. The differences between them are best distinguished through microscopic study. In North America, fleas known as cat fleas affect both cats and dogs.

Fleas extract and consume the blood of host animals in order to survive. Neither cat nor dog fleas leave the host voluntarily and will typically remain with one host throughout their lifespan. However, if dog fleas are forcibly removed from their host, they will locate a new host or return to the original host if possible.

The life cycle of the flea is composed of the egg, larval, pupal and adult stages. Cycle length ranges from several weeks to several months and is largely dependent upon environmental conditions. Fleas lay between four to eight eggs after a meal, with the highest concentrations of laying occurring within the last few days of the female’s life. Unlike the eggs of some other parasites, flea eggs are not sticky and usually fall to the ground immediately upon being laid. Flea eggs hatch into larvae within one to 12 days. Flea larvae are approximately 3 to 5.2 mm long and are semitransparent white in color. The larval stage lasts from four to 18 days, after which larvae spin silken cocoons and enter the pupal stage. The pupal stage may be complete within three days, or it can last as long as one year.

Adult fleas begin searching for food when they emerge from the pupal stage. While fleas are noted for their jumping abilities, they will remain stationery when a suitable host is located. Females begin laying eggs within 48 hours of the first feed, thus beginning the life cycle again.

Source: Orkin

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Refined and optimized…Motic’s new inverted microscope, the AE31 Elite, is ready!

The genre of inverted microscopes is quite underrated. Of course we do not achieve maximum resolution power with this hardware: the requests for long working distances in terms of condenser and objectives are too dominant. Petri dishes, well plates, flasks, etc.: all these vessels require sufficient space between illumination (condenser) and stage. The sub-stage mounted objectives are also driven to long working distances in order to focus through floating cells or simply a freshwater sample.

The idea of an inverted microscope bears further advantages. The beginner’s step into the world of small things is as easy as with a stereo microscope: No need for sample preparation, no sectioning, no need for staining: just take a sample from your rain gutter. It is easy to find algae, paramecia, rotifers, even water bears with their astonishing constancy of body cells. For beginners, the intrinsic true sided upright image (which finally is dedicated to professional micromanipulation work) helps in orientation.

The AE31 Elite is a professional inverted microscope with an extended focus on practical aspects. The big brother of Motic’s entry level model AE2000 also implements the AUTO ON-OFF via IR sensor for energy-saving and safety reasons. The LIGHT MEMORY function, based on the encoded 5-fold nosepiece, helps to keep the proper illumination intensity: Once set up for each objective, there is no need to readjust the illumination when changing the magnification.

To harmonize the optical setup of the CCIS© Infinity concept, the AE31 Elite works with the newest generation of LWD Plan Achromatic lenses: Only one Phase ring is needed for Phase 10X up to 40X; the objective Phase 4X for fast screening is available as an option. These features establish the AE31 Elite as a microscope platform for live cell biology.

The tube lens of the AE31 Elite has been harmonized with the Motic’s BA series of upright microscopes. So all accessories like c-mounts, additional eyepieces, etc. can be used without restriction. The fully corrected intermediate image is ready for digital access. Fluorescence as an upgrade option remains a strong feature and separates the AE31E from the smaller model AE2000.

The AE31 Elite continues Motic’s approach for a balanced selection of professional yet affordable instruments for most aspects of microscopic work in biomedical labs.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

What is Phase Contrast and when to use it?

Most of the Biological samples are quite transparent, characteristic that turns difficult its visualization under a Brightfield microscope. To overcome this, scientists frequently treat the samples with different staining solutions in order to enhance their contrast.

Nevertheless, this option cannot be considered when working with living cells, since the chemical toxicity of the staining solutions would kill the cells. This is a particular issue for Microbiologists, who frequently observe living cells (usually in culture), microorganisms, and thin tissue slices.

The Phase Contrast technique, is an easy and smart way to enhance contrast on transparent specimens, and therefore allows the examination of living cells in their natural state.

A phase contrast microscope enhances the change in phase of the light going through the sample and thereby causes a difference in brightness. To see which components you will need to use this technique, and how to set up them on your Motic microscope, please see our Simple Phase Contrast

The images below show thin slices of a Rabbit testicle, where the spermatogenesis process can be followed. Both pictures(100X magnified) were taken with a Moticam 5 mounted on the Motic AE2000 inverted microscope. On the left, the sample visualized in Brightfield and on the right with the Phase Contrast technique.