HERCULES, Calif., April 24 -- Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. has signed an agreement to collaborate with Japan's Nikon Corp. on the manufacture and marketing of a new microscopy system with capabilities for video rate confocal imaging. Under the terms of the agreement, Nikon will manufacture the RTS 2000 system in Japan, while Bio-Rad will provide worldwide marketing and support services for the product. The RTS 2000 system -- which was jointly developed from Nikon's earlier generation RCM 8000 instrument -- also incorporates original technology developed at the University of California, San Diego.Bio-Rad stated that a key feature of the new unit is its capability for multi-photon excitation, a technology licensed exclusively to Bio-Rad by Cornell Research Foundation. The company said that the RTS 2000 combines this feature with Nikon's video-rate scanning technology to enable scientists to study living organisms in real time. Possible applications for the device include physiology, kinetic experiments, neuroscience and developmental biology, according to Bio-Rad.