In Plain English: Sam Johnson

The great scientist Sir Isaac Newton formulated his theory of light, indispensable to using microscopes and telescopes, at Cambridge University (England).  It seems only fitting that Sam Johnson, who chose his university simply because Newton went there, should now manage Duke’s Light Microscopy Facility, making 20+ high-tech microscopes available to researchers across the university.  The scopes take pictures of sea scallop eyes, human cardiac tissue, nanoprobe chips, proteins moving inside living cells, lipid layers, and everything in between, usually treated so that the interesting bit is fluorescent.  The LMCF’s image analysis workstations are regularly beefed up with more computing power to assemble, visualize and quantify 3-D images of various sizes. One of the latest innovations is a technique that renders objects almost transparent, so the researcher can see 8 millimeters deep into the sample.  Sam also offers courses ranging from broad overviews to a semester-long graduate course.  Get your head inside some cool pictures at http://microscopy.duke.edu/ !