What a day! It was my first day at the Molecular Image Core at UCB. My new boss' business card says "goddess of light"! And she is! I have a ton of reading material to get through on the topic of SPIM so I'll post more once I've got more than the basics down (though, yes, laser safety IS important). Mainly SPIM (single plane illumination microscopy) joins optical sectioning (which you can do with a standard laser confocal) and multi-view imaging. The resolution is amazing!
But the light sheet scopes allow for several things that other scopes don't, mainly less photobleaching of delicate samples and decreased toxicity. Which means you can get more images over longer periods of time. it works great for thick, opaque samples too. I got to see some amazing 3D models and some video clips of neurons firing in real time and some beautiful fluorophores lighting up in active tissues. I can't wait to see more! Here's two videos like the ones I got to watch today.