VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brad Amos, cell biologist, with an early laser-scanning confocal microscope. Dr. Amos co-developed the first practical microscope of this kind. Confocal microscopy is a technique that detects light coming from an illuminated specimen only at the focal point of the microscope's objective lens. By moving the focal point (scanning), sharp images of the specimen at a precise depth can be obtained, allowing a three-dimensional model to be built up from a series of optical "slices". The technique was invented in the 1950s by Marvin Minsky. It became practical in the early 1980s due to advances in lasers and computing.
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