The new microscope allows you to see the work of a single living cell

A team of scientists from Harvard and Hughes Medical University has prepared a three-dimensional visualization of observations of the activity of a living cell. The goal is to demonstrate to the general public the benefits and perspectives of the new tool they now have at their disposal. It can be used "to study any question about a biological system."

Seeing details on such a tiny scale usually requires intense illumination of the target, which can damage or even kill the target. Therefore, scientists borrowed the technology of adaptive optics from fellow astronomers and created a method of "latent light microscopy" on its basis. They do not illuminate the target, but pass ultrafast low-power laser pulses through it, comparing the beam parameters before and after passing the target. From the difference in indicators, an image is formed.

As a result, there is a tenfold increase in the previously available level of visualization of the work of living cells. The main character in the video is the zebrafish immune system cell, and we can see how it moves, how it absorbs food in the form of blue sugar crystals, etc. Scientists are delighted with what they saw, because this is what they previously knew only in theory, but now they can see with their own eyes.

Now the creators of the device are working on a compact version that could be installed in any laboratory in the world. They are not going to monetize their offspring, it will remain available to all scientists on the planet.