Photograph of a molecule
1986/02/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
Look at the photo next to the reader. The core of life is the photograph of a molecule of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). Researchers at Kyoto University have achieved this wonder. They have used a particularly powerful electronic microscope. The magnification capacity of this microscope is enormous, being able to increase the objects around 1,000,000,000 times.
However, to make this photo possible, it has not been enough to use a powerful microscope. As is known, electronic microscopes emit electron beams that collide with the object and give an image of it. On the other hand, in order to have this potential of expansion it is necessary that the electron beams are very energetic. Because the DNA molecule is very sensitive, it is necessary to protect it if it is not desired to deteriorate by placing it in a medium of these characteristics. The Japanese managed to freeze DNA at very low temperatures (-266ºC).