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  1. #1
    Sean S's Avatar
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    Default OT: What power microscope for human cells?

    What type and strength microscope is required to view groups of (or a single) human cell?

    Got some cloning to do...

    Sean

  2. #2
    Trooper Jake is offline Aluminum
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    Question

    If I remember right from school you need an electron microscope 50,000-100,000 X

  3. #3
    Tom L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    What type and strength microscope is required to view groups of (or a single) human cell?
    You can do it with "relatively" low magnification, like 300X.

  4. #4
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    you need an electron microscope 50,000-100,000 X
    Holy Moly !!!
    He said he wanted to look at cells .... not atoms. Sheesh
    You should be able to see cells at 300X or 500X

  5. #5
    Marty Feldman is offline Stainless
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    Cells of different types vary in size, by an order of magnitude -- around 10 micrometers in diameter to over 100 (compare a red blood cell and an ovum, for instance). Individual cells in their entirety can quite readily be "viewed" at quite low magnifications, including the 300X mentioned above, in an ordinary light microscope. An electron microscope is not required. It is, of course, all a matter of what level of cellular detail you would like to view. An example of detail that would necessitate using an electron microscope is the visualization of mitochondria inside the cell, or the details of the envelope surrounding the cell nucleus. The magnification at which you view something in the light microscope is the magnification of the ocular, or eyepiece, which may be something on the order of 10X, times the magnification of the objective lens, which will commonly be somewhere in the range of 10 - 100X. A total magnification of 300X would result, for example, from viewing a specimen using a 10X ocular and a 30X objective. Happy cloning.

  6. #6
    mark thomas is offline Titanium
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    You can "view", in the sense of differentiating individual cells, such as for counting them, at 100-200x. They are sort of dots on the slide at that level of magnification. At 1000x, you can see some structure.

    A typical biological microscope will have several lenses, often 10x, 20x, 40x and 100x and a 10x objective, giving 100x-1000x range in the same instrument.

  7. #7
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    Mark is spot-on. Most compound microscopes go from 40 or 100x to 1000x.

    But what cells do you want to view? Buccal (cheek) cells for a high school science project? Blood, sperm, cells in mucus? Depending on the cell, you may need to do staining, or to use dark field or what is called phase contrast to be able to see anything, as most cells end up being transparent and nearly invisible without something to enhance contrast.

    There is a Yahoo affinity group/forum at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Microscope/
    The folks there are very helpful for these types of questions.

    Good luck

    Jim

  8. #8
    macona's Avatar
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    Jail Cells?

    Splinter Cell?

    Cell Towers?

  9. #9
    Norman Atkinson is offline Titanium
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    Default Human Cells

    I suppose that storage is a problem.
    What is the collective noun anyway?
    A celery!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Sean S's Avatar
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    Many Thanks folks, question answered.

    Sadly, the host didn't survive, but I am taking over for him.

    Sean2

  11. #11
    joecr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    Many Thanks folks, question answered.
    Sadly, the host didn't survive, but I am taking over for him.

    Sean2
    That's too bad, my condolences.

    So, Sean1 did tell you about the loan, right?
    Just box up all his machines and tools, pay to ship them here and we'll call it even. Wouldn't want to take any advantage in times like this.

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