Today I used an $ 80,000.00 fluorescent microscope. I made wet mounts and learned a new technique that keeps the cells from moving around under high magnification, and oil immersion. I started with various samples in micro vials of micro-algae, ciliates, and micro-algae exposed to doses of chemicals that are intended to kill contaminants (ciliates) but not harm algae. We mounted 3 μl of organism of interest and made a wet mount. Then to keep the sample from moving when we looked at it with 100x magnification and oil immersion we put dots of hot plum nail polish on the corners, and then painted around the periphery of the coverslip. (We used colored nail polish so we could see if the polish leaked under the coverslip and into our sample.)
We took some great images, and I am awaiting approval from the lab to post some of them on the blog. Keep your fingers crossed. Some of my favorite images were of diatoms, rotifers, ciliates, cyanobacteria, and fluorescent cyanobacteria. A picture is worth a thousand words so rather than go on and on I will hopefully post a slide show to share with you early next week.