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Science work enriched with scanning microscope grant

ISU biologists, physicists, chemists, and geologists have a powerful scanning electron microscope at their disposal thanks to a $285,000 National Science Foundation grant. The microscope, located in the Science Laboratory Building, is capable of magnifying objects up to 1 million times.

Nick Tardi, a graduate student in the School of Biological Sciences, uses the new scanning electron microscope.

Associate Professor Martha Cook in biology was a lead author on the grant proposal for funding the new FEI Quanta 450 microscope, which provides detailed digital image results without a lengthy preparation process of specimens. The scanning process allows scientists to understand such things as surface topography and chemical composition of a specimen.

It is being used at ISU in many ways, including for elemental analysis; the study of structures in plant and animal specimens; and quality control testing for delicate, custom-made scientific probes made by a chemistry faculty member.

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