Science: Cells Alive

One of the toughest problems in biology is how to take a microscope picture of a healthy living cell. Most tissue cells, whether animal or vegetable, are transparent to ordinary light. To make them visible they must be stained, and the stain either kills them or sickens them. They can be seen with special ultraviolet microscopes, but strong ultraviolet is also deadly to cells; only the picture of a tiny corpse appears in the photomicrograph.

Dr. Robert Barer of Oxford University, England, is sure he has licked the problem. He uses monochromatic (single wave length) ultraviolet at an intensity which is too...

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