Saturday, July 29, 2006

Online Microscope Tools

I just purchased an old microscope on eBay. It hasn't yet been shipped to me, but I've begun to wonder about online tools which would satisfy someone's curiosity about the microworld. I found one such site (Online Digital Microscope) interesting, but limited in scope.

What would be nice is a site where researchers and amateurs can upload photos of microscope slides. Photos could be accompanied by comments, a description of how the sample was obtained, an image of the original sample, pointers to interesting coordinates within the slide, etc.

Even nicer would be a website that allowed remote operation of a microscope. A bank of prepared slides could be accessed by a robotic arm, and the microscope would be controlled by clicks on a web page. A network of microscopes distributed across the globe would allow for a rich collection of slides.

If anyone is aware of other online microscope websites, please comment.