Seeing is believing? A beginners' guide to practical pitfalls in image acquisition
Imaging can be thought of as the most direct of experiments. You see something; you report what you see. If only things were truly this simple. Modern imaging technology has brought about a revolution in the kinds of questions we can approach, but this comes at the price of increasingly complex equipment. Moreover, in an attempt to market competing systems, the microscopes have often been inappropriately described as easy to use and suitable for near-beginners. Insufficient understanding of the experimental manipulations and equipment set-up leads to the introduction of errors during image acquisition. In this feature, I review some of the most common practical pitfalls faced by researchers during image acquisition, and how they can affect the interpretation of the experimental data.