Throughout this last week, I spent a considerable amount of time in the lab learning how to use the Leica DMLB research microscope to examine various biological specimens. While many of the photos I took were under lower magnification, this scope's abilities really come into play under detailed 40x magnification. Additionally, images can be given more contrast and detail using a technique known as DIC imaging. Using various beams of interfering light to illuminate structures that might otherwise be invisible under normal bright field microscopy. When used correctly, this technique produces stunning images!
Unfortunately, there were some complications that prevented me from using this method to its full extent. While powerful, this microscope is also a sensitive instrument. An important component of the scope, called the condenser, was malfunctioning due to misuse by the time I was able to gain access to the lab. While this was a setback, I feel that I gained a greater appreciation for how the scope functions, the concepts behind DIC microscopy, and the intricate and beautiful nature of a wide variety of biological specimens.
Here are a few of the images I took while in the lab. Note: I attempted to add in a scale bar to the images using an online program, but the results were poor. Thus, I am showing these images with no scale bar, but with some visual editing for contrast, brightness levels, etc.
Above is a slide of some of my cheek cells, at 10x magnification.
Here is a slide of a species of starfish, specifically the larva. This image is at 5x magnification.
A familiar face for geneticists and developmental biologist alike, the above image is of a common fruit fly, of the genus Drosophila. The head, mouth, and forearms are depicted here at 5x magnification.
Lastly, here is an image of a nematode worm, Ancylostoma caninum. Specifically, the head/mouth is depicted here. I personally enjoy this image as many intricate details of the worm's anatomy is shown. This image was taken at 5x magnification.