Very Quick Cell Question

Uncle Al UncleAl0 at ix.netcom.com
Sun Feb 15 10:42:32 EST 1998


TODD J PIERCE wrote:
> 
> I know I can see individual strands of bacteria at 100x with a microscope.
> 
> My question is this what magnification do I need to see both a cell and
> its nucleus--that is, for a fairly large cell--200x, 500x?  In our very
> basic lab, we have microscopes up to 100x.  Are microscopes with higher
> ranges of magnifacation common in working labs?
> 
> Could I see the nucleus with the standard microscope, or can one only see
> the dark outline of the nucleus with an electron microscope?
> 
> Thanks,
> Todd

If you want to locate the nucleus you want it to call out to you above
background.  Use a fluorescent stain for double strand nucleic acid. 
Will ethidium bromide (toxic!) do it (under near-UV illumination)?  Ask
the experts:  http://www.probes.com/ 

Visualizing cell nuclei and chromosomes arrested by Colcemide(tm) or
colchicine is standard operating procedure.  It doesn't require anything
beyond an optical microscope.  Observing onion root tip chromosomes this
way is a high school lab prep.

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Uncle Al Schwartz
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