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Science  18 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6117, pp. 353
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6117.353-a


The powerful research microscopy software LAS AF 3 (Leica Application Suite Advanced Fluorescence) sets new standards for intuitive operation. It covers the whole spectrum of fluorescence applications from routine work to sophisticated tasks in biomedical research, such as deep imaging of thicker tissue or interactive time lapse experiments. A key feature of the LAS AF 3 is its modern user interface, optimized for fluorescence imaging. It reduces stray light from the computer screen disturbing light-sensitive experiments. The wizard-based interface guides users safely and intuitively through data recording and evaluation. LAS AF 3 offers full control over the microscope hardware while minimizing user interaction through intelligent automation. The wide range of tools for image processing, deconvolution, and 3-D visualization enables the user to capture and process all the important details of the sample without the need for additional software.


Olympus VS120 Slide Scanning System has advanced technology that creates a "virtual slide," a high-resolution image of the complete specimen that can be electronically stored on a central server, at a range of magnifications. Exhibiting unsurpassed performance in fluorescence microscopy, combined with precise color rendition and scanning accuracy, the Olympus VS120 is the perfect system for all pathology and life science research applications requiring slide scanning and data archiving. Color fidelity and precision are of paramount importance for all pathology and life-science applications where analysis may depend on both structural and color interpretation. Resolving maximum detail when scanning at high resolution depends on precision scanning to capture multiple images with the upmost positional accuracy, combined with advanced software algorithms to 'stitch' the images together to form a reliable panorama. The VS120 excels at this aspect of hardware and software interaction, scanning without distortion at high resolution, while faithfully interpreting the color standard.


The Neuron Isolation Kit, mouse, depletes all non-neuronal cells so that "untouched neurons" remain. The Neuron Isolation Kit, mouse, is an indirect magnetic labeling system for the isolation of untouched neurons from cell suspensions of mouse neural tissue. Non-neuronal cells—including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts (except erythrocytes)—are indirectly magnetically labeled using biotin-conjugated antibodies specific for non-neuronal cells in combination with Anti-Biotin MicroBeads. Isolation of highly pure unlabeled neuronal cells is achieved by depletion of the magnetically labeled cells. The cell number and composition of the neuronal cell fraction differs according to the mouse age and the brain region used for cell isolation.


Version 2.5 of the MetaMorph NX Software includes modules for the study of neuronal morphology and fiber structures, support for targeted illumination devices, and a high-speed image acquisition mode. The Neurite Tracing Application Module simplifies the challenging, meticulous tasks associated with neuron research, while the Fiber Tracing Application Module quickly makes sense of complex, interwoven fiber structures. Moreover, added support for targeted illumination devices enables fast synchronization with regions of interest or an exact position in the image, and the new high-speed image acquisition mode allows researchers to record unlimited numbers of rapid changes in cellular function and behavior. The new software provides a single tool for researchers to use images of any size to rapidly produce quantitative and comparative descriptions of neuronal anatomy. The built-in Sholl Analysis, dendritic spine measurements, and nuclei detection features further add to the ability to conduct a thorough investigation of neurites.


The Molecular Probes Neurite Outgrowth Staining Kit allows for quick and simple measurement of neurite outgrowth and cell viability in the same sample. It includes three fluorescent dyes: a cell viability indicator, a cell membrane stain, and a background suppression reagent. The Neurite Outgrowth Staining Kit saves time and steps relative to immunostaining. A typical workflow using this kit takes 15–30 minutes and involves only two media-exchange steps prior to taking a measurement. In contrast, immunostaining involves multiple block, wash, and antibody incubation steps that require several hours to complete. The Neurite Outgrowth Staining Kit distinguishes between compound effects on cell viability and neurite outgrowth by providing dual color readout. The fluorescence signals generated with the Neurite Outgrowth Staining Kit can be measured with a fluorescence microplate reader, microscope, or HCS instrument for compatibility with your existing workflow.

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