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Probing proteins

When vision fails you can always try to feel your way. In Leiden, at the Kamerlingh Onnes Institute, they are building the most sensitive probe microscope in the world. A regular probe microscope uses an atom-size needle to probe a surface and can visualize individual atoms if that surface is smooth. But that still leaves the atoms below the surface out of the picture.

Tjerk Oosterkamp is working on an MRI-probe microscope that will enable him to identify the magnetic force of the nuclei beneath the surface. His ultimate goal: to have an MRI-scan of a protein.

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