The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, located in Dallas, Texas has announced that it will soon have a new facility on its grounds that will contain three gigantic sized microscopes. The new facility will cost around $17 million dollars, a steep price, but is being funded by a donor who has chosen to remain anonymous.
The three giant microscopes are no ordinary microscopes. They will allow researchers to look at the most tiniest buildings blocks of life and substances, at the atomic level. The new microscopes will be able to create 3D photographs of objects and substances at the atomic level. This is an unprecedented breakthrough and is being heralded as a resolution revolution in the medical imaging community.
The new 3D images at the atomic level could help develop numerous breakthroughs in the medical field, as well as in chemistry. For example it can help researchers study cancer and better understand how cancer develops and is treated. It can also be used in the study of drugs and drug development which is a major concern at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
The new massive electron microscopes can look at cells and samples that have been frozen at the extremely cold temperature of -321 degrees below Fahrenheit or less. Brrr! That must be really cold! Why do the specimen and cell samples have to be so cold you may ask? This is because at temperatures above -321 degrees Fahrenheit cells begin to crystallize and this interferes with research and analysis of the samples.
Cryogenic conditions will have to be in place at the facility for the electron microscopes to provide an unhindered 3D look at samples such as human body proteins, some of which have never been studied before at such a level. Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas are already excited about the prospects of using the giant microscopes for study. Scientist Sandra Schmid who works at the medical center says the microscopes will allow researchers like herself a new way of looking at cells and how they function. “It could end up helping us develop new drugs and better understand how our bodies respond to medicine” she continues.