Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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New Resolution

New software optimises microscopy resolution

28 September 2019

New Resolution

Microscopy is enjoying huge leaps in recent technology and technique, bringing tiny life into sharp focus and allowing its processes to be studied like never before. Yet for the best results, techniques like super-resolution microscopy require optimisation – juggling mechanical settings of lenses and lasers with software for capturing images. Even then, scientists struggle with a question – how do you know if the image you’ve taken is the best it can be? Maybe just one more tweak in the right direction would reveal even more detail. In this artificially-coloured human cell, we see the results of a new computer algorithm. Designed to estimate an image’s resolution, it helps to spot when microscope settings could be improved further (left), guiding scientists towards a clearer, optimised image (right). Released as open-source software, such approaches will help researchers squeeze more information from their experiments, and value from their expensive microscopes.

Written by John Ankers

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