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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2009 Jun;12(3):341-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2009.03.001. Epub 2009 Apr 6.

New fluorescence microscopy methods for microbiology: sharper, faster, and quantitative.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA.


In addition to the inherent interest stemming from their ecological and human health impacts, microbes have many advantages as model organisms, including ease of growth and manipulation and relatively simple genomes. However, the imaging of bacteria via light microscopy has been limited by their small sizes. Recent advances in fluorescence microscopy that allow imaging of structures at extremely high resolutions are thus of particular interest to the modern microbiologist. In addition, advances in high-throughput microscopy and quantitative image analysis are enabling cellular imaging to finally take advantage of the full power of bacterial numbers and ease of manipulation. These technical developments are ushering in a new era of using fluorescence microscopy to understand bacterial systems in a detailed, comprehensive, and quantitative manner.

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