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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

 

Green Chemistry by Eric Rees

Using bacteria as low-cost, environmentally-friendly bioreactors to manufacture commercial polymers is an idea that falls within the topic of "Green Chemistry." Here, a colony of E Coli are supposed to be producing a polymer. Fluorescence microscopy reveals that an enzyme is at work in a few of the Coli, but the scale of features involved in the process is too small to resolve by optical imaging, due to diffraction (features much smaller than the wavelength of light are blurred beyond recognition). In the Laser Analytics group we use localisation microscopy to detect individual fluorophores - and hence we produce a "super-resolved" (dSTORM) image in which the macromolecular processes involved in biosynthesis can be seen much more clearly.

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