A group of microscopes that can magnify images as much as 600,000 times their normal size was the focus of a Research Rally
By using such highly advanced microscopes, NMSU scientists are able to examine the most intricate details of objects such as nanofabricated devices, used in electrical engineering projects, and the bacteria in rumen fluid from cattle, when studying rumen nutrition and rumen microbiology. Physics students use the instruments to measure the surface roughness of special coatings, and agricultural researchers are able to get an intimate look at the chloroplasts contained in individual plant cells, thanks to the high-powered microscopes.
The university has a centralized suite of high-tech microscopes, valued at
Each instrument has particular strengths, with the atomic force microscope the newest acquisition, in 2012. The confocal microscope was added in 2010, and the three electron microscopes were acquired in 2006.
Vice President for Research
NMSU Executive Vice President and Provost Daniel J. Howard praised the efforts of
The two worked for the good of the university and their colleagues in pursuing the instruments, and Howard expressed his thanks.
"It's something that I appreciate greatly," he said.
Cooke said it is not practical for every researcher to have such expensive, high-end equipment, and so more efficient approaches and the sharing of such instruments makes more sense.
"This approach consolidates the facilities and makes it an economically viable way to operate and it puts expertise together, as well," Cooke said. "Having shared expertise and shared equipment is an effective way to manage an operation."
The microscopes are primarily used by researchers in the
Cooke's goals for the microscope project include facilitating access, broadening the user base, promoting practical applications and acquiring more imaging capability.
Chaitanya praised Cooke's direction of the microscope suite.
Cooke joined the university in 2009 after an extensive career at the
Cooke holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the
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