LAS VEGAS — UNLV is getting a new laser-scanning microscope, which officials said might help recruit researchers and will be available to other Nevada students.

The microscope will be coming to campus next spring, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported ( ).

It will enable a researcher to go about one millimeter deep into the tissue of a cell.

“We will be able to study living systems at new levels of sensitivity and depth,” said Laurel Raftery, UNLV biology professor. “It’s like going from two dimensions to three dimensions, or going from a still photograph to a movie.”

The microscope cost nearly $1 million and was paid for through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

It will allow researchers to document what living cells do in real time, as it can take time-lapse images of cells throughout several hours.

“It’s going to allow us to do some experiments we’ve been wanting to do for about five years,” said Raftery, who was the chief grant writer. “Two grad students in my lab have projects that will immediately benefit from it.”

Not having such a microscope hurt UNLV in recruiting top science faculty, Raftery said.

Technology like the upcoming microscope has been revolutionary in understanding how the brain works, she said.

Students from the College of Southern Nevada and Touro University — plus other students — will all get the chance to use the microscope.

“The grant will expand the possibilities of research at the university and help draw more students, scientists, and academics from across the nation to Southern Nevada,” U.S. Rep. Dina Titus said in a statement.

Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal,

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