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The Microscope - Volume 68, Second Quarter 2020


On the cover
A composite colored SEM micrograph of an N95 surgical mask containing coronavirus particles, shown as minute yellow spheroids. At bottom left is an erythrocyte (red blood cell) and a small lymphocyte above it. At bottom center are spherical cocci bacteria, and at the top are rod-shaped bacilli. See Brian J. Ford’s Critical Focus: Stop Covid Beyond the Mask, page 59. (Micrograph courtesy of Brian J. Ford)

Editorial | A Challenging Year for McCrone, Microscopy, and All

Gary J. Laughlin
The Microscope 68 (2), p ii, 2020

Excerpt: As many of you are aware by now, the devastating impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) disrupted nearly all of McCrone Research Institute’s operations and programs in 2020. In response to this once-in-a-century crisis, the Institute, with the support of its constituents and readers like you, is charting a new course for success by creating a viable operating model and exploring ways in which it can continue to deliver world-class microscopy education, research, and publishing, as it has done consistently since 1960.

The Microscopical Examination of the Roughness of Surfaces

John C. Russ
The Microscope 68 (2), pp 51 – 58, 2020

Abstract: The examination of rough surfaces is commonly performed using various types of microscopes. Visual interpretation of the images is sufficient for many kinds of general classification, but for other purposes, some measure of the roughness is desirable. Techniques for measuring surface roughness that are commonly used in industrial quality control do not use microscopes or represent the actual surface geometry sufficiently, so it is important to consider what microscopy can contribute in this regard. The roles of different microscopes — including light, scanning electron, and atomic force — are considered in terms of the types of information available and the analysis procedures employed. This includes both vertical and lateral measurements.

Critical Focus | Stop Covid Beyond the Mask

Brian J. Ford
The Microscope 68 (2), p 59 – 70, 2020

Excerpt: Our inadequate response to the Covid-19 outbreak calls for stricter measures when the next pandemic strikes: quarantines (not lockdowns), mass testing, and vaccination free of myths. (Note: this article contains QR code links to related videos on YouTube.)

Microscopical Analyses of Asbestos-Containing Fibrous Adhesive

James R. Millette, Steven Compton, and Christopher DePasquale
The Microscope 68 (2), p 71 – 79, 2020

Abstract: An asbestos-containing, sodium silicate-based fibrous adhesive was applied to insulating materials from the 1940s to the 1970s. Batch formulation sheets for Benjamin Foster 81-27 fibrous adhesive were used to determine that the concentration of chrysotile asbestos in the dried product ranged from 8% to 32%. The application of the thick viscous adhesive is not considered to be a source of airborne asbestos fibers, but the cleanup of the dried material that might fall near workers and on their clothing, bodies, and tools is of concern. Also of concern is the fiber release that occurs during breakup of the fibrous adhesive films during repair work on piping systems. Testing done with reconstituted Foster 81-27 adhesive showed that scraping and sanding of dried 81-27 produced levels in a glove box that ranged up to 0.19 asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter (f/cc) as determined by NIOSH 7400 values modified by NIOSH 7402 asbestos ratios. Brushing the dried 81-27 on denim produced levels up to 0.16 asbestos f/cc and removing the dried 81-27 material brushed onto a polyester cloth with a hammer and chisel, as had been described by workers, produced a level more than 10 f/cc. In another test, breathing-zone air samples were taken from an industrial hygienist, who had removed the 81-27 brushed onto cheesecloth with a hammer and chisel inside a room-size chamber. These samples were overloaded. It was conservatively estimated that the asbestos levels in this test were well over 2 f/cc.

New Microcrystal Tests for Controlled Drugs, Diverted Pharmaceuticals, and Bath Salts (Synthetic Cathinones): Mephedrone and Methylone

Sebastian B. Sparenga, Gary J. Laughlin, Meggan B. King, and Dean Golemis
The Microscope 68 (2), pp 80 – 93, 2020

Excerpt: The Microscope is publishing selected monographs from McCrone Research Institute’s recently completed research, New Microcrystal Tests for Controlled Drugs, Diverted Pharmaceuticals, and Bath Salts (Synthetic Cathinones), which contains newly developed microcrystal tests and reagents with 9 additional drugs: alprazolam, butylone, mephedrone, methylone, MDPV, 4-MEC, alpha-PVP, tramadol, and zolpidem. This issue includes the monographs for the following drugs/reagents:

• mephedrone/palladium chloride with hydrochloric acid and phosphoric acid
• mephedrone/picrolonic acid
• methylone/palladium chloride with hydrochloric acid and phosphoric acid
• methylone/picric acid

Obituary | Edwin F. Lebryk, 1924 – 2020

Robert M. Kuksuk
The Microscope 68 (2), pp 94 – 95, 2020

Excerpt: Edwin “Ed” Lebryk, a longtime member of the State Microscopical Society of Illinois (SMSI) and a friend of McCrone Research Institute in Chicago passed away on Nov. 21, 2020 in his hometown of Munster, IN. He was 96. Ed’s history with the SMSI began 60 years ago with the encouragement of the late Dr. Walter C. McCrone, who recognized Ed’s talents during a course Dr. McCrone was teaching. At the time, Ed was the star microscopist at Sinclair Oil (Atlantic Richfield) Research Center in Harvey, IL. In addition to Ed’s analytical talents, Dr. McCrone saw that he had a great interest in microscopy. The combination of that interest and his personality made Ed a perfect choice to become an officer in the organization.

Obituary | Joseph E. Koles, 1926 – 2021

Dean Golemis
The Microscope 68 (2), p 95, 2020

Excerpt: Joseph E. Koles, an eminent microscopist and microchemist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory (USACIL), died of a heart attack on Feb. 12, 2021 in White Oak, MD. He was 94. Mr. Koles established an international reputation as a forensic chemist and microanalyst through his uncanny ability to identify unknown substances that even advanced microscopists found difficult, a talent that also gained him prestige for his laboratory instruction.

Afterimage | Macrospora scirpicola

Payam Fallah
The Microscope 68 (2), p 96, 2020

Macrospora scirpicola, an ascomycetous fungus growing on submerged aquatic macrophytes such as Scirpus lacustris; Olympus BH2 microscope, using Nomarski differential interference contrast.

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