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MDI Biological Laboratory offers course in quantitative fluorescence microscopy

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BAR HARBOR, MAINE – Science professionals, doctoral and postdoctoral students from across the country will gather May 20 through 27 at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, for an intensive one-week course in Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy.

This powerful research technique uses uses fluorescent labels to allow scientists to see cells and sub-microscopic cellular components – even as small as a single molecule – with great specificity. Many scientists, however, don't have access to the most up-to-date equipment or lack an understanding of the relative advantages of the various techniques that would allow them to match their research goals with the best approach.

The goal of the MDI Biological Laboratory's course is to provide participants with the knowledge and expertise to implement cutting-edge microscopic methods in their laboratory research.

"This course is designed to take scientists who are using fluorescence microscopy to the next level," said Jane Disney, Ph.D., director of education at the MDI Biological Laboratory. "Participants are encouraged to bring their own specimens and test drive the most sophisticated fluorescence microscopes and accessories available before purchasing equipment for their own laboratories."

Fluorescence microscopy provides scientists with a high resolution window into the physiological and pathological roles of the molecular machinery within the cell, allowing them to see the dynamics of cellular components such as organelles, proteins, microtubules and chromosomes in unprecedented detail and in real time. The use of computers allows them to quantify molecular events with accuracy and precision.

Companies that will be demonstrating their products include Bitplane Imaris Software, Bruker Corp., Chroma Technology Corp., Hamamatsu Photonics, Leica, MatTek Corp., Molecular Devices, Nikon, Photometrics, ThermoFisher Scientific and Tokai Hit Co.

Limited funding for half- and full-tuition scholarships is being provided through Chroma Technology Corp., Nikon and a Maine INBRE (IDeA [Institutional Development Award] Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) grant. MatTek Corp. and ThermoFisher Scientific are making significant contributions of laboratory supplies and reagents.

The fluorescence microscopy course is one of more than 30 courses and conferences offered each year at the laboratory, whose mission is to develop solutions to complex human health problems through research, education and ventures that transform discoveries into cures. The courses, which are offered for all levels – from middle school students to science professionals — attracted more than 1,100 participants in 2015.

For more information on the fluorescence microscopy course, please visit mdibl.org/course/qfm-2016/.

The MDI Biological Laboratory, located in Bar Harbor, Maine, is an independent, non-profit biomedical research institution focused on increasing healthy lifespan and increasing our natural ability to repair and regenerate tissues damaged by injury or disease. The institution develops solutions to complex human health problems through research, education and ventures that transform discoveries into cures. For more information, please visit mdibl.org.

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