Saturday, May 14, 2016

Defying the Diffraction Limit for Biology

Defying the Diffraction Limit for Biology

For my journal club presentation I chose an article that uses fluorescence techniques to actually visualize NHEJ, step by step. Not only that, but in a beautiful depiction of a shing shiny phenomena of science. My main take away from the article was that this was a demonstration of defying the diffraction limit to see objects within 100 nanometers. Instead of using optical or electron visualizing techniques that must obey the diffraction law as beams, this method shoots a laser at a sample mounted on prism with full internal reflection. It seemed confusing at first that the laser fully eternally reflects that it can interact with your sample through the prison. Magnificently, I realized that this the laser interacts with the interface layer between the prism and the air surrounding to produce evanescent waves, that decay very quickly. This allows you to see even smaller objects than any imaging technique that are limited by diffraction of beams, defying the diffraction limit.

In the paper I presented they these evanescent waves to excite dyes on ends of DNA breaks so you can watch their fluorescence from a detector as they get closer. You end up knowing that the ends join when you flourescent resonance energy transfer happens between the dye on one break and the dye on another. First of all, I really think that it amazing to see the power of defying the diffraction limit. But that is not where it steps, then you see how the development of such a technique allows you to advance science further in ways that humanity has never explored.

*drops the mic*

-Saleem A. Aldajani

No comments:

Post a Comment