Practical Course

European Molecular Biology Organization





23 March - 2 April| 2011 | Plymouth | United Kingdom

About the Practical Course


Optical microscopy is in a state of explosive development. This is partly due to new technical advances, such as the use of photoproteins, computing and novel optics and partly to a shift of innovation from a few specialists working within manufacturing companies to a wider community of scientist users.

This EMBO course has been running for nine years. There will be 2-3 lectures each day throughout. The first 3 days will be spent setting up microscopes for brightfield and epifluorescence microscopy, including polarisation and interference contrast methods.  The final 6 days will be organised in rotations around the 9 experiments listed below.

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  Developmental Biology
1,2 2 experiments with confocal imaging
3 CCD imaging and deconvolution, ,microinjection, genetically encoded probes, gene gun
  Cell Physiology
4 Confocal imaging with electrophysiology
5 CCD imaging with electrophysiology
6 Photolysis and photometry
7 Total internal reflection fluorescence imaging
8 Laser traps
9 Marine bioluminescence

Special demonstrations and hands-on exercises

Multiphoton confocal imaging
Quantitative interference microscopy
Use of an optical bench for basic experiments on scanning and apertures
Spectroscopy and filters
Abbe’s experiments on the role of diffraction in microscope image formation with absorption and phase objects.
Preparations used will include: invertebrate preparations (tunicates, molluscan neurones), zebra fish, mammalian brain slices, Fucus, Arabidopsis, and cell lines
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The experiments will be in the large classroom at the MBA and in rooms nearby. Use will be made of marine specimens where possible and student may have an opportunity to trawl for benthos and plankton, depending on weather and availability of the MBA research vessel.


At the end of the course there will be the traditional presentation of the ‘Plymouth Glass Jellyfish Trophy’ to the student handing in the best answers to numerical questions on microscope optics (normally discussed in the local pub).




We look forward to welcoming you to Plymouth!

The Organisers






European Molecular Biology Organization | Meyerhofstrasse 1 | 69117 Heidelberg | Germany