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Transmission electron microscopy provides resolutions that greatly exceed what is possible on optical microscopes, and the postgenomic era of recent years has seen the emergence of new developments in the application of this technology to biomedical research. In addition to microstructural changes to cells in knockout organisms (in which a particular gene has been disabled), huge demand is emerging for verifying the microscopic structure of cells and tissue grown from iPS cells, a type of stem cell that has unlimited potential to differentiate into every other kind of cell. This article looks ahead to the next generation of microscopes to present the latest information about how, in response to these new developments, the most recent transmission electron microscopes have made dramatic advances in their roles as precision instruments that are simple and easy to use, incorporating functions for auto-focus, fully digital photography using CCD cameras, and image transmission via video conferencing system.
Professor of Department of Anatomy, Ultrastructural Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, and Chief of Bio-Imaging Lab, Frontier Science Research Center, University of Miyazaki.