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Basic science

November 27, 2018

When I was a child, the way to get really high magnification under a microscope involved drops of oil on the slide cover glass, and using the fine gear knob to be careful not to break that. Now, electron microscopy can image individual atoms ever more finely.

Biological collections are a kind of historical record, laden with data we still don’t fully understand, that once lost never can be restored. It takes money and will to sustain them. (Hat tip to my brother-in-law, the botanist.)

Both microscopy and biological collections go back to the rebirth of science at the start of the modern era. If ever you are near Cape Lookout in North Carolina, be sure to visit Fort Macon, where Elliot Coues did bird research while stationed there as a surgeon. They have some of his collection.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2018 9:59 am

    Electron microscopes existed when you were a kid.

    • rturpin permalink*
      November 27, 2018 4:51 pm

      True, Todd. But not where I could use them. 😉

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