Electron Microscopy in Medical Research

Researchers: Martin Benning, Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb, Robert Tovey

Electron Microscopy (EM) has made a huge impact in many fields of science since its appearance more than 60 years ago. There are two main features which distinguish EM, the ability to see at ever higher resolution, down to an atomic level, and the ability to perform full volume imaging to see clearly beneath the surface of almost any material. In biological fields people use what is known as Cryo-EM, which won a Nobel prize this year (1), which was the big step which stabilised delicate biological samples sufficiently for use in electron microscopy. Cryo-EM has been hugely successful in drug discovery (2) due to the ability to view mechanistic interactions of biological molecules at sub-nanometre scales.

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