LONDON, Nov. 12 -- Scientists from around the world gathered in London last month to celebrate achievements in cell biology and to look at future techniques for live cell research, at a meeting commemorating the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Dutch scientist Frits Zernike. Zernike discovered the phase contrast method and invented the phase contrast microscope.
The meeting was jointly sponsored by Carl Zeiss, which built the first phase contrast microscope in 1936 and pioneered live cell applications throughout the period until 1945, and The Royal Microscopical Society. Held at the Institute of Physics in London, the meeting featured a keynote lecture by Timothy Hunt, a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of key regulators of the cell cycle.
Heinz Gundlach of Carl Zeiss Germany also spoke at the meeting about the effort involved in translating the phase contrast principle into a working instrument. The highlight of his presentation was the debut of a DVD recording of the first film of a dividing cell from 1941.
The agenda included discussions on how Zernike made it possible to see living cells, along with new imaging techniques that are advancing live cell research. Topics included enhanced phase contrast, presented by Alexander Verkhovsky of the St. Francis Institute of Technology, Lausanne; single-molecule total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy, by Justin Molloy of the National Institute for Medical Research, London; and tracking intracellular molecules with a new method of photoactivation called FLAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) microscopy, presented by Graham Dunn of King's College, London.
For more information, visit: zeiss.co.uk