Have you ever tried looking for something specific when a picture is in black and white? It would be like finding Waldo without his famous red and white striped sweater. Electron microscopes have been showing pictures only in black and white, until now, and it will make finding different molecules a whole lot easier. These high powered microscopes are now able to make images that can highlight all of the different molecules in different colors. Electron microscopes shoot beams of electrons at their samples in a vacuum seal and create black and white pictures that the scientists can study.
Before November 3 scientists would have had to layer lower resolution images from light microscopes. This causes the picture quality to go down and make it very grainy. This new technique, developed by investigators at the Center for Research in Biological Systems at Uc San Diego, adds the color without completely destroying the quality. This new procedure is done by consecutively layering many different metal ions, called lanthanides, onto the sample and reacts differently to each ion and causes them to all change colors.
This new microscope is great because you can only make the certain things you are looking for change into color. Say if you are looking at a cell to see if it has a virus in it, then you could set it to where only the virus would be colored. This saves scientists a lot of time. They can only add two or three colors per picture now, but they are working on making it more.