School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Why is Rudolp's nose red?

Inner Space the Final Frontier

You hear that space is the final frontier, but could we have another frontier right here on Earth? The microscopic world offers a limitless opportunity to explore amazing places and life forms. You just need the right tool for the trip – a microscope. Guests Angela Goodacre and Doug Chandler have a conversation with Dr. Biology about the instruments that let us journey into inner space.

Angela Goodacre in front of a microscopy inspired painting by Doug Chandler

Content Info | Transcript


MP3 download | 16MB

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Topic Time
Introduction 00:00
How long have microscopes been used? 02:36
Who are the two people who first documented using a microscope? 03:10
What do you need to make a microscope? 03:33
Robert Hooke's first book about microscopic world and interesting pieces of history. 05:00
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek - his microscope and his animalcules. 04:46
Some of the scientific breakthroughs that happened because we had microscopes. 05:47
Microscopes used to detect cancer. 07:49
What are some of the many types and shapes of microscopes? 09:12
How does a microscope compare to a camera? 10:03
Sites to explore amazing images made with microscopes. 12:04
Molecular Expressions - all about microscopes - Ask A Biologist Image Gallery 13.41
Go out and buy your own microscope to explore the microscopic world. 15:06
The different types of microscopes. 15:50
Labeling different parts of cells with colors. [mitochondria] 17:58
Advantage of using colors that are invisible to the human eye. [color spectrum chart] 19:09
Summary of light and florescent colors. 20:12
Electron microscopes. [photons and electrons] 20:29
Basics of light and electron microscopes. [photon and electron wavelengths] 21:21
What is resolution? 22:41
When and why do we use a light or an electron microscope? 23:56
Three questions. 26:06
When did you know you wanted to be a biologist? 26:15
What would you do if you could not be a biologist or microscopist? 27:53
What advice do you have for someone who wants to become a biologist? 29:16
Sign-off. 30:59

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Inner Space the Final Frontier

Audio editor: Eric Moody

Light microscope lens

Explore inner space yourself with our Zoom Gallery.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.

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Light microscope lens

Explore inner space yourself with our Zoom Gallery.

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.