Well, I seem to be having some sort of internet connection problems at home, thus the lack of posts of late. It is very frustrating to pay for something and then not have it work, don't you agree?
Yesterday I was once again allowed to "play" with the confocal microscope; actually this was the second of my training sessions (for a total of 4 hours), so now I'm kind of an expert (not really) and allowed to use it on my own. Certainly I'm not close to being a know-it-all with the confocal scope, but it is nice to be able to make the judgment between just a pretty image and an accurate representation of what is on the microscope slide. I was quite surprised to learn that sometimes the two things don't go hand in hand. Today the first sample that I worked with came from Zeiss, and thus all of the names on the microscope slides were in German. While my instructor had never heard of a Maiglöckchen, if you have ever been to Germany in the spring, then you certainly have seen lily of the valley flowers. Though I have to admit that I don't know much about plant biology, the images are of the rhizome, which is the underground stem of the plant. The dyes used were a rhodamine derivative and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) .