• X-ray pulses make microtechnique news
    Microtechnique news this week includes the first image of an intact virus


X-ray pulses make microtechnique news

Feb 03 2011

Microtechnique news headlines this week have included the capturing of an image of an intact virus by scientists at Uppsala University.

The event is a landmark moment in microtechnique news as viruses are far too small to be seen using conventional microscopy.

Instead, the team applied ultra-short X-ray pulses at high intensity to a free electron laser, with the brevity of the radiation ensuring that an image can be received without causing damage to the target object.

Previously, imaging a virus or bacterium has meant marking it with metal, freezing or sectioning the organism.

According to the university, "the technology enhances the possibilities of imaging individual biological molecules that are too small to study even with the most powerful microscopes".

Uppsala University is located in Sweden and is among the top-ranked universities in northern Europe, having been founded originally in 1477 and still delivering "quality, knowledge and creativity" more than five centuries later.

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