Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Million-Dollar Microscope Set to Trip Out Scientist and Layman Alike (PICS)

It's almost certain that before the scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory became the scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, they squinted through the same classic compound microscopes that induced headaches among anyone who went to public schools in the past few decades. But when one uses a microscope for long enough to make a living at it, they typically graduate to better gear. That brings us to the new $1 million multi-photon confocal microscope that good ol' stimulus funds just bought for the PNNL's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory.

As the Tri-City Herald reports on Friday, the fancy, squint-free scope will study human health and how much it's impacted by nanoparticals (spoiler: a lot).

But after searching for some examples of what kind of images a multi-photon confocal microscope can produce, we'd be satisfied if the lab only used it to make trippy black-light posters that we can hang in our basements.

We'll wait a minute for the mushrooms to kick in.

OK, here's some:

A dye-stained rat kidney cortex. But if you cross your eyes and stare through the image, it eventually turns into a dolphin.

More rodent kidneys. Apparently the rats and mice at this lab are fed a steady diet of Bill Cosby sweaters.

A horse. Don't ask questions. Just go with it, man.

The million-dollar microscope has already solved the mystery of where the band Tool comes up with its album covers.

OK, now they're just showing off.
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