MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: What cells can or can't be seen with a light microscope?

Date: Wed Feb 6 02:05:11 2008
Posted By: Sebastien De Landtsheer, Undergraduate, Immunology, Laboratoire National de Santé
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1202210541.Cb


A good light microscope will give you a resolution of less than 1um, that 
is 1 micron, 1/1000 millimeter. All nucleated cells, animal or vegetal, 
are much bigger that that. Big bacterias have such a size.
From the list of organelles you give, you can observe easily the cell 
membrane, the cell wall from vegetal cells, the cytoplasm, the nucleus, 
vacuoles... flagelles, chloroplasts and mitochondrias are difficult to 
see, and what is not possible to see with a light microscope is the 
Golgi, the lysosomes, the endoplasmic reticulum, and certainly not an 
individual ribosome (size of a virus).
To get an idea, try to find an electron microscope image on the web, 
there are many... there you can see the relative sizes of the objects

Hope that helps...

At your Mad service


Current Queue | Current Queue for Cell Biology | Cell Biology archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Cell Biology.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2006. All rights reserved.