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PERSPECTIVES & OPINIONS
Jeff Lichtman likes to invoke baseball legend Yogi Berra's famous line "You can observe a lot by watching" to describe his own work. More
A group leader at Janelia Farm hopes to do for biology what the Hubble Space Telescope did for astronomy. More
Edited by Kathryn Brown
David A. Agard PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY AND BIOPHYSICS AND OF PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY University of California, San Francisco
"I believe I was 7 or 8 when I was delighted to receive a microscope for my birthday. I immediately ran out to the creek to collect some algae—and rather stagnant water—thinking it would be full of bugs. I was right. I also looked at onion cells and cells from my own cheek. What a blast!"
"I think it was during a 7th-grade science class that I first looked at a drop of pond water through a microscope and saw an amazing collection of strange creatures—hydra, rotifers, and other tiny organisms. I was fascinated to think that there was a whole world out there we don't usually see. Maybe that inspired me to want to know what else could be revealed by high-resolution imaging."
Nikolaus Grigorieff ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF BIOCHEMISTRY Brandeis University, and incoming Janelia Farm group leader
"When I was about 12, my parents gave me my first microscope. In my excitement to peer through it, I immediately began looking for a suitable substance to study. Eventually, I plucked a hair from my own head."
"When I was growing up in Finland, experimental science was not a big part of school. At home, I once discovered parts of my grandfather's antique microscope. With some tape and cardboard, I managed to fashion these bits into a working scope, producing a blurry image. I was unimpressed. It wasn't until many years later, after finding ways to study molecular events by imaging, that the microscope became one of my favorite tools."
Photos: Agard: Mariano Tabios/Agard Lab; Björkman: Misha Gravenor; Grigorieff: Paul Fetters; Kerppola: Paul Fetters