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Olympus America Helps Create Top-Rated Educational Web Site

MELVILLE, N.Y—In recognition of its commitment to education through cutting-edge technology, Olympus America’s Scientific Equipment Division announced that its work on a Web site devoted to microscopy resulted in it being named one of the Top 100 Educational Web Sites of 1999. Called the “Microscopy Primer,” the site was selected out of thousands by The Education Source, a leading online publisher of educational materials, which based its decisions on information, organization and innovative use of Internet technology.

Developed by Mortimer Abramowitz, Olympus America’s senior microscopist, and Michael Davidson, Director of the Optical Microscopy Division of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University, the site is intended to educate users through self-instruction about the study and use of the microscope—microscopy—in an innovative manner. Located at www.micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer, the “Microscopy Primer” site is among the most complex and comprehensive sites on the Web, containing information on almost all aspects of microscopy.

“The primer is a vast resource for professional scientists in all fields, as well as college and high school students,” said Abramowitz. “The text is written in a manner that will be useful to both the casual and sophisticated microscope user.” He added that he was very surprised at how fast the site has evolved into a leading microscopy resource. “It’s so popular that professional scientists have been trying to buy the Web site software,” he said.

Abramowitz believes that the most unique aspect of the site is the virtual microscopy, where users can simulate using top microscope equipment to view images. Utilizing dozens of Java applets that engage the viewer in a virtual microscopy experience, users can manipulate diagrams in motion using a variety of techniques that illustrate microscopy principles and applications.

Other unique features include a Java applet that specifically utilizes Olympus equipment to teach users about the anatomy of microscopes, as well as how to assemble an Olympus America BX microscope equipped for fluorescence and photomicrography—two of the fastest emerging microscopy techniques.

The site also has a frequently-asked-questions section, pages on light and color, information on the anatomy of the microscope, as well as specialized microscopy techniques, a museum of microscopy, and an extensive list of additional Web resources.

“I think users will especially enjoy the site’s gallery of images created by Michael Davidson,” commented Abramowitz. “For example, using the microscope as an art tool, Davidson reveals drawings on the surfaces of the silicon chips which can then be viewed via the Site. It’s quite spectacular.”

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Olympus is a leading manufacturer of clinical and research microscopes used by lab technicians and medical researchers around the world. Through unique technological innovations and design engineering, Olympus America’s Scientific Equipment Division has developed the BMAX Series Clinical Microscopes, a revolutionary creation which enhances lab productivity by providing unsurpassed precision, accuracy, clarity and comfort. For more information on Olympus America’s Scientific Equipment Division, please email micro@olympus.com, call toll-free at 1-800-455-8236, or visit our Web site at www.olympus.com/microscope.