Motic Microscopes has announced that its Epi-Fluorescence BA 400 Microscope is assisting scientists at Kings College London with their research into neurodegenerative diseases.
The microscope is being used to identify very small structures in fruit flies brains which are being tested to show how and why motor neurone diseases occur.
The illumination system and the fluorescence microscopy of this equipment assist with the close examination of fly brains.
The externally mounted 30W halogen Koehler illumination system of the microscope provides bright and uniform lighting through the various contrast methods, enabling close and clear observation of the fruit flies brains.
The upright BA 400 inverted 'Y' design stand allows an attachment of a reflective Epi-fluorescence illuminator.
The microscope has three filter modules in which there is an additional blank filter module which enables the BA 400 to be used as a bright field and phase contrast microscope.
The fruit flies are being used due to their similarities with human genetic properties, also because they have a short life cycle and are easily genetically reproduced.
The research involves closely monitoring the brain function of the fruit flies and using locomotion as a behavioural measurement.
Tests are carried out on the fruit flies, such as their ability to climb, to examine the loss of motor neurones with age.
A trial of drugs is also being given to the flies to see how they react and if a tremor is identified.
Frank Hirth, head of research group at Denmark Hill, Kings College London, said: 'We use the microscope on a daily basis and it enables us to conduct the bulk of our research, thus saving us both time and money before we need to book the slots to use confocal microscopes which are very expensive.'