May  2016

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New helium microscope reveals startling details without frying the sample
Inspired by the classic design of a pinhole camera, the team developed technology that u
ses a beam of neutral helium atoms to form images.  The prototype scanning helium microscope (SHeM) offers a more delicate touch than electron microscopes, and thus doesn't cause any damage to samples. Read more Here

You will never forget to brush your teeth again!
Magnified by up to ten thousand times and highlighted using false coloring, these microbes can be found growing on the inside of your cheeks, gums and your teeth. Read more here
The return of silver staining 
Impregnating neurons with gold or silver nanoparticles allows the three-dimensional structure of the cells to be imaged in high detail. Read more here

Don't quite understand how social media works & why its important? Access this free and interactive how to guide
ASSOC. Association News

The M&M 2016 Paper Submission Deadline has Passed! 
The submission site is now closed for submissions to the regular program.
The M&M meeting does allow for post-deadline poster submissions. Post-deadline posters are not included in the program proceedings and are NOT considered "published".  Please go to for more information.

Post Deadline Papers & Awards

There is still time to submit a paper poster presentation at M&M2016 
- and to be considered for an award!

Post-deadline papers will be accepted between April 1 and June 17. Please  click here:

Post-deadline posters (AKA "late-breaking posters") are eligible for daily student awards, and all poster presenters are eligible for the prestigious Diatome award (grand prize: a trip to Switzerland for two)  click here for details. 

So, if you use ultramicrotomy, please consider attending M&M 2016, presenting a post-deadline poster, and be in the running for a trip to Switzerland (second and third prizes: Swiss watches).

M&M Week at a Glance Schedule

The M&M 2016 Meeting -  Week at a Glance schedule  (meetings; symposium by day) is  now available  on the M&M 2016 website inside the Pre-Meeting Guide, and will be distributed with the May 2016 issue ofMicroscopy Today 

Hotel reservations for M&M 2016 
Reservations are now available  . Book early for the best availability!

Online Registration
Registration is now open! Click here to access portal .

Is Your MSA Membership Renewed for 2016?

MSA Membership is on a calendar-year basis. That means that all MSA memberships expired on December 31, 2015, unless they were renewed for 2016 prior to that date. We keep January and February as a renewal "grace period"; however, memberships not renewed before May 1, 2016 will no longer receive MSA member benefits, including suspension of your subscriptions to Microscopy and Microanalysis Journal and Microscopy Today Magazine, as well as being ineligible for the member registration fee at the annual M&M Conference. 

To renew now: go online for payment with credit card at   
using your MSA member login, or for payment by check, send an email to  to request an invoice. 

Let's make 2016 the year of increased Student engagement!  
Enhance your experience, network, and get involved! For more information visit the MSA website
ASSOC. Association News

M&M 2016 Sunday Short Courses
Organizer: Elizabeth Wright, Emory University


These full-day courses run from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday.

  • A certificate of participation will be issued to each participant.
  • Two (2) Continuing Microscopy Education Units are available (registration fee $10 for members).
  • Morning and afternoon coffee breaks are included. (Breakfast & lunch are on your own.)
  • Separate registration/fees required (click here for more information).
X10 Cryo-preparation for Biological EM
Kent McDonald, Danielle Jorgens, Rick Webb, Helmut Gnaegi

In this course, we will review why cryo-techniques for biological specimen preparation are superior to conventional methods. We will discuss some low-cost cryo-methods, as well as some of the latest equipment and techniques for high-pressure freezing, freeze substitution, cryosectioning and correlative LM-EM. We will show how to recognize ice-damage artifacts and provide a library of reference materials that can be accessed online after the course. Persons taking this course should leave with a better understanding of these biological cryotechniques and their role in different applications such as correlating light and EM, EM tomography, EM immunolabeling, cryo-EM of vitrified sections, as well as their routine use for the best-available preservation of cellular fine structure.
X11 Electron Cryotomography Image Processing Using RELION
Sjors Scheres, Tanmay Bharat

The course will begin with an explanation of the RELION algorithm. Next, the limitations of tomographic data will be discussed along with the missing wedge. Strategy for CTF estimation and CTF correction using the combined 3D CTF and missing wedge model in RELION will be explained.The practical course that will follow will show how to setup of files and directories for RELION sub-tomogram averaging, including generation of 3D CTF models. Tomographic data will then be classified in 2D and 3D. Finally, sub-tomogram averaging will be conducted using the auto-refinement program in RELION with an emphasis on how to assess refinement quality, Euler angle distributions and whether more data is needed.
X12 Imaging and Analysis with Variable Pressure or Environmental SEM
Brendan J. Griffin

This short course aims to take the challenge out of imaging in variable-pressure SEM mode. We will sequentially address VPSEM column components and operation: electron (SE and BSE), and light (CL) imaging and x-ray analysis strategies and detectors for both biological and materials samples. Procedures for monitoring instrument performance and optimizing image quality will then be presented. Examples of the novel charge-related contrasts available in VPSEM will also be discussed. The appropriate use of hot, cool and cold stages is included. The course will conclude with invited manufacturer presentations on new developments and a final lecture comparing VPSEM with conventional SEM. Lecture pdfs will be available online.
X13 Practical Considerations for Image Analysis and Use of ImageJ/Fiji
James Grande

The course first focuses on a wide range of practical topics in the field of image analysis, covered in an easy-to-understand format so that users with little or no experience can comprehend how image analysis can provide extensive quantitative measurements leading to better understanding of material performance. Treating image analysis as a problem-solving tool, along with discerning key metrics within a microstructure, will be discussed through several real-life examples. The course then will cover the use of the public-domain image-analysis package ImageJ/Fiji. This analysis tool will be explored in terms of its extensive capabilities and types of image-analysis projects, using several examples. Programming considerations will be discussed, with basic examples of batch-processing images for enhanced analysis of structural features. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of image-analysis tools, and options for applying them in various types of imaging systems, will be described and discussed.
X14 Advanced Focused Ion Beam Methods
Lucille Giannuzzi, Joe Michael

The use of FIB instruments in materials and biological science laboratories is growing rapidly. The versatility and capabilities of these tools are also rapidly improving. This course will first cover ion/solid interactions, which are so important for a user of FIB instrumentation to understand. We will then discuss techniques of sample preparation for SEM and TEM, using conventional liquid-metal Ga+ ion FIBs. We will introduce liquid-metal alloy sources, the gas field-ionization source, the plasma-ion source, and the various ions that are now commercially available to benefit differing applications. The course will conclude with discussions of 3D applications and nanofabrication.
X15 Nanomaterial Microscopy & Microanalysis: Tools and Preparation
Lou Germinario, Phillip Russell, John Thornton 

With the wide variety of analytical instrumentation available, the selection of the correct "tool" for analysis of nanomaterials is critical. By introducing various microscopy and microanalysis methods, this workshop should provide a solid foundation for nanomaterial characterization for the beginning to intermediate investigator. The importance of choosing the proper preparation technique, to minimize introduction of artifacts and to ensure that representative samples are identified for subsequent analysis, will also be discussed.
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LAS. Local Affiliated Societies

Local Affiliated Societies News
by Bev Maleeff, LAS Director

There are more than 25 MSA Local Affiliated Societies providing outreach and networking to the microscopy community. The list of LAS can be found at here.
Support your local affiliated society! Invite students & early career scientists & technologists to your LAS meetings and get them involved!

On May 18th, the Microscopy Society of Northeastern Ohio (MSNO) celebrated its 50th Anniversary at a joint conference of MSNO, the Cleveland Section of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, the Cleveland Section of the American Chemical Society, and the American Vacuum Society, Ohio Chapter, held at John Carroll University. Members Valerie Woodward and former MSA President Jeanette Killius gave presentations commemorating MSNO's 50th anniversary. Congratulations, MSNO!

MSNO President Nanthawan Avishai with speakers Jeanette Killius and Valerie Woodward celebrating the 50th Anniversary of MSNO.
Tour Speakers: MSA has Tour Speakers available to present on a variety of topics in biological sciences, physical sciences, and general microscopy themes. Several Tour Speakers have spoken at LAS meetings in 2016, including Barry Carter, Jay Jerome, Sara Miller, Jeanette Killius and Ilke Arslan. Many thanks for their service to the Society! Speaker information can be found   at here .

Tax Webinar: MSA Managing Director Robert Dziuban and I are working on making information about the tax webinar available to the membership via the LAS area of the MSA website. Stay tuned for details here in the MSA Update and at the LAS breakfast meeting at M&M 2016.

LAS Breakfast: The annual LAS Breakfast meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 26th at 7:15 AM during M&M 2016. For the first time, this will be a joint meeting with the Microanalysis Society Affiliated Regional Societies (MAS AReS). This event is invitation-only; invitations will be sent to LAS leaders in June.

As always, feel free to contact me at

Start making your plans to meet at M&M 2016. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!


FIG. Focused Interest Groups
Attention all FIG Participants: 
Two Pre-meeting congresses will be sponsored by the Focused Interest Group's at the upcoming meeting in Columbus Ohio.

Exploiting the Diffractive Properties of Electrons for Solving Materials Problems
Organized by Electron Crystallography and Automated Mapping Methods FIG

Essentials of Atom Probe Tomography
Organized by the Atom Probe FIG

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