For those of you working in the realm of biological science, whether you’re just starting a PhD or working your way through your graduate studies, it’s likely that at some stage you’ll be needing to use a microscope.

And if you’re anything like most people, the idea of this might fill you with dread. Or should I say, the idea of trying to use it properly might fill you with dread!



I use one every day, so it’s second nature to me. But I’m a pathologist, so I should know what I’m doing. Most scientists have other priorities, however, and aren’t accustomed to this. So it’s not surprising that most people don’t get the most out of their microscope – why would they when the last time they used one was maybe 5 years ago in some early university practical class?

I recently joined BitesizeBio as a staff writer, and I started off with an introductory article on how to use the light microscope. It’s a “101 Guide” for anyone who wants to get some pointers on using a microscope. So if it’s been a while since you needed to use that old lab ‘scope, don’t panic! The article will help you get set up and ready to go.


Image Credit ardelfin at Morguefile


  1. I remember using microscopes in high school, but they have changed so much in 40 years. Our school now has some that will take a picture of the enhanced image. My daughter tried to do this for a high school science experiment–analyzing DNA within a species–and found it to be prohibitively expensive. Now, it’s affordable.

    I have no idea what a ‘light microscope’ is so I’m going over to BitsizeBio to read it.

  2. Great article. Almost simple enough for a passionate arm-chair scientist. I think my daughter could have used that in her research. I wanted to comment, but it’s only for members. Rats.

    • Thanks Jacqui! I know, it’s a pain that there are so many sites where you can’t comment without being a member. Microscopes certainly have changed physically over the recent years – thankfully we now get to use binocular versions, instead of the old monocular ones that I remember playing with 20 years ago! I’m enjoying being involved with that site though, it’s the kind of educational science that I love writing. I love their name too.

  3. Nice, clear article.
    Have you ever used an electron microscope?
    I’ve always wondered what the viewed image of that was like.

    Excuse me, I’m headed to Google images…

    • I’ve never personally used one, although I’ve occasionally sent samples to labs for EM to be performed for me, and they send back digital images to me of what they see – very neat. But I’ve never viewed them “first hand” myself. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. […] thanks to her, i know a brief history of the U.S. medical profession. And I now know how to use a light microscope. Top of the world, […]