November 15, 2012 (Vol. 32, No. 20)
Strong Points: Beautiful image collection, nice link collection
Weak Points: Written permission to use images (even educationally) required
You may have had the misfortune of encountering a cockroach in your home at some point, but have you ever seen a cockroach head at 17x magnification taken by a scanning electron microscope (SEM)? (Perhaps a better question would be, do you want to?) If highly magnified objects such as algae, bacteria, fungi, crystals, and viruses strike your fancy, you will be quite at home on the Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. Education Website. This site, which is part education, part “how cool!” and part tongue-in-cheek (such as the “Most Wanted Bugs” poster), offers visitors the opportunity to browse a large (over 4,200 in fact) collection of beautiful, colorized SEM images. Part of the fun of visiting the site is exploring some of the more random images, such as a kitchen sponge, gecko foot hairs, or cat tongue. Beyond simply offering an image library, the site offers some interactive features such as a virtual SEM and opportunities to zoom in on some of the images.