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HIDDEN WORLDS by Stephen Kramer


Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope

by Stephen Kramer & photographed by Dennis Kunkel

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-05546-0
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Outstanding photographs invite the reader into the world of microscopist Dennis Kunkel, a working scientist who studies plants and animals using lenses from the simple hand loupe, which magnifies an image up to ten times, to the sophisticated transmission electron microscope (TEM) that uses an electron beam and can magnify an object up to 1,000,000 times. As with other titles in the “Scientists in the Field” series, Kramer provides biographical information, quotes from the scientists, and a detailed explanation of field science techniques in a glossy photo-essay. He manages to capture the sense of wonder and excitement and the meticulous care taken by Kunkel as he observes plants and animals in the field and the laboratory. Photographs on every page show vividly colored specimens from minute dust mites, magnified 560 times to the neuroglial cell from an Asian tiger mosquito magnified 22,925 times. The title includes a careful explanation of the differences between types of microscopes, how materials are prepared for viewing with each type, and why the information gathered is useful to scientists and ordinary people. For example, Kunkel studied the muscle cells of the embryonic South African clawed frog to learn more about how specialized cells receive messages from nerves—information that may someday help doctors treat patients with muscle diseases. An excellent additions to the science, biography, and careers sections. (Nonfiction. 10-14)