“You must be the new research technician. Good to have you on board!”
If the Brasilian doctor and scientistCarlos Chagas had said these words to you and asked you to look at Trypanosoma parasites with a microscope, it would have been a relatively straightforward task. At the beginning of the 20th century, light microscopes were the norm and electron microscopes had not yet been developed (check out the History of the Microscope for more information). Today however we have a wide choice of different microscope systems available at hand, which allow us to look at things as tiny as individual atoms.
The interactive website Meet the Microscopes focusses on electron microscopes and lets you explore an imaginary scenario in which you are a research technician facing different challenges in the lab. After taking a close look at the microscope handbook you find yourself in six different situations and have to think carefully about which microscope would be best suited for the job.
Did you succeed in choosing the right microscope for each task? If yes, keep up the good work and one day you might end up on a bank note, just like Carlos Chagas did.