Computer micrographs are NBG. (was RE: BOR exam)
Photomicrographs are shown with great pride on the internet,
and they are nearly all worthless because they are fuzzy
even on a classy monitor. Even at low magnification a
microscope image needs adequate resolution. To get this
on a computer screen it's necessary to have a huge file for
the image, and this takes minutes to load and it requires
scanning beyond the limits of the screen to see it properly,
because one screenful simply doesn't hold the picture at
the required resolution, unless the field of view is very
small. Even the best computer micrographs fail to show the
detail that's seen when looking down a real microscope
and constantly adjusting the focus, moving the slide and
changing the objective.
Amateur microscopists are very well aware of all this and
they intelligently compose fields of view at appropriate
magnifications. It can be done, but not quickly and
easily. I strongly recommend the web site of the
Queckett Microscopical Club at:
It shows some _real_ micrographs, much better than the junk
that's posted by professional pathologists and researchers.
It's horrifying to think that people's careers are
in danger because of computer-based exams with questions
about lousy images.
The following quotes suggest that this may be happening.
> I have to agree that the computer photos were awful. I was looking for
> the answer that said to restain because everything was a big blur I had
> a hard time identifying the tissue let alone how to answer the question.
>> I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the photomicrographs were
>> terrible ... fuzzy blur supposedly representing IHC ...
>>> pictures. Perhaps it was the testing facility's fault, but the
>>> photos on the monitor were shockingly bad.
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada N6A 5C1
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