3D images of biological cells at a resolution superior to the light microscope with specimens much thicker than possible with electron microscopy
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X-ray imaging for structural cell biology provides three dimensional images of cells at resolutions of 30-50nm. At these resolutions, cellular organelles and larger macromolecular complexes can be identified and located. Smaller proteins can be located within organelles using correlation with fluorescence based light microscopy methods. In order to mitigate radiation damage the specimen is examined at cryo-temperatures. Two dimensional images are obtained for different orientations of the specimen and these are used to produce a three dimensional tomogram.