Macro (close-up) photography is a tricky skill to master. It is difficult to capture images in sharp focus with this type of photography. Helicon Focus can help photographers salvage partially focused macro photographs by combining them into one clear image.
Photographers will be able to use this program with just a cursory look at the Help file. There is a demo that you can watch that shows what the program can do. Amateurs and hobbyists will have to read the Help file more carefully, but it is well written and succinct. We first tried the Animation and 3D Model features. … Read more
Japanese uber-gadget maker Thanko continues its drive to turn the entire universe into a USB gadget after giving us our last fix with its e-cigarettes.
The retailer, based in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics mecca, has launched a USB dental microscope that can turn your teeth into glorious 640?480 images or 1280?1024 video.
The 12-inch wand-shaped device has 6 LED lights and a 1/4 inch CMOS camera with 40x magnification. A shutter-release button is built into the underside. The device connects to a Windows XP or Vista PC with USB 1.1 or 2.0 and is available … Read more
Well, the device just got even more powerful. The group announced Tuesday that the CellScope is now capable of taking color images of malaria parasites and even of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers.
The version of the Cellscope introduced in April works with handhelds and even Netbooks and can be used for bright field microscopy, which uses simple white light--such as from a bulb or sunlight--to illuminate samples. The new version adds fluorescent microscopy to the repertoire. The device can now take pictures of a target--such as a parasite, bacteria, or cell--tagged with a specific fluorescent wavelength emitted by a special dye.
To achieve this, the researchers used filters to block out background light and convert the light source--a simple LED--into the 460-nanometer wavelength required to excite the green fluorescent dye in the sample. After that they were were able to take fluorescent images of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (which causes TB in humans) with a 3.2-megapixel off-the-shelf phone camera. The images were then automatically analyzed using software to show the total of bacteria in the blood sample.
This new development means the prototype of the CellScope can also be used in field settings for disease screening and diagnoses.… Read more
IBM Research has built a new nanoscale microscope capable of creating images with 100 million times finer resolution than existing MRI technology.
The breakthrough, announced Monday, was made possible through a process called magnetic resonance force microscopy, which, according to IBM, detects "ultra-small magnetic forces." The technique is said to be able to "see" beneath surfaces and be safe for sensitive biological materials.
IBM said that it ran a test using the new system that established for the first time, magnetic resonance imaging on nanometer-scale items. By running it on a tobacco mosaic virus that is … Read more
Researchers have come up with a microscopic microscope, tiny enough to fit on a fingertip, that can be cheaply mass-produced and used to scan blood and water for pathogens.
The high-resolution microscope functions without the large and expensive lenses usually associated with such imaging devices. Instead, it combines the chip technology found in digital cameras with "microfluidics," the science of channeling liquid at scales far smaller than a common droplet.
"The whole thing is truly compact--it could be put in a cell phone--and it can use just sunlight for illumination, which makes it very appealing for third-world applications," said Changhuei Yang, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the California Institute of Technology and one of the lead developers of the device.
Yang imagines a range of uses for the so-called optofluidic microscope, which measures about the size of George Washington's nose on a quarter and has the magnifying power of a top-quality optical microscope, according to the Caltech research team.
Health field workers could use it to examine blood samples for malaria and check water for giardia and other parasites. It could be employed on the battlefield. Yang said the microscope could one day even be implanted inside humans to isolate rogue cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream.
"Our research is motivated by the fact that microscopes have been around since the 16th century, and yet their basic design has undergone very little change and has proven prohibitively expensive to miniaturize," said Yang, who is currently in talks with biotech companies about mass-producing the chip, a process he says costs about $10 per microscope. … Read more
It used to be that powerful microscopes were reserved for laboratories, but magnification levels that were once possible only with professional equipment are increasingly available to the masses thanks to advances in digital technologies. Some gadgets are finding a natural home on the science toy market for kids, complete with night-vision features.
But the most certain way to tell if a product category has attrained common-denominator status is when it reaches the prolific mass manufacturers of Asia. To wit: Korean company 3R Systems has unveiled the "ViTiny," a pocket-sized digital microscope.
Measuring 4.7 by 2.2 inches … Read more
At this year's CES, adrift between meetings, I stumbled into a few digital microscope booths and spent a little time at the other end of the image-capture spectrum; in cameraville, we tend to concentrate on the telephoto megazooms, which make big things look small, as opposed to the telemacro end, making small things look big. Over the past couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to put the BigC Dino-Lite Digital Microscope AM413M under the, um, microscope.… Read more
They're not the highest tech at the show, nor are they the easiest to find--I tripped over a couple in the furthest reaches of the exhibits--but I find myself intrigued by a couple of handheld digital microscopes I encountered while killing time before a meeting. These gadgets connect to your system via USB and allow you to capture megazoomed (albeit not terribly high-resolution) closeups of life's minutiae.
The combination of neon colors and its surprising use makes this camera a natural for a recurring role in CSI: Miami.
Aven's iLoupe is a field microscope disguised as a fashion camera that can be used with three interchangeable lenses of 60x, 100x and 150x magnification. The camera itself is a 6-megapixel Canon SD600 with a lens adapter ring and a USB connection that can be used to blow up images on a larger screen. Aven says the iLoupe was made with crime scene investigations specifically in mind, though it can also be used for less glamorous tasks such … Read more