Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Top Story

Scientists produce 3D chemical maps of single bacteria

Scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at the Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have used ultrabright X-rays to image single bacteria with higher spatial resolution than ever before. Their work demonstrates an X-ray imaging technique, called X-ray fluorescence microscopy, as an effective approach to produce 3D images of small biological samples. The record-breaking resolution of the X-ray images was made possible by the advanced capabilities of the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe (HXN) beamline, an experimental station at NSLS-II with novel nanofocusing optics and exceptional stability. While other imaging techniques, such as electron microscopy, can image the structure of a cell membrane with very high resolution, these techniques are unable to provide chemical information on the cell. At HXN, the researchers could produce 3D chemical maps of their samples, identifying where trace elements are found throughout the cell. The researchers say that demonstrating the efficacy of the X-ray imaging technique, as well as the sample preparation method, was the first step in a larger project to image trace elements in other biological cells at the nanoscale. The team is particularly interested in copper's role in neuron death in Alzheimer's disease.

Visit Website | Image credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory