A technique for the examination of specimens at low electron beam intensity has been presented. Sections micrographed with this technique showed numerous knife scratches and frequently contained bands running parallel to the knife edge. Banding with an average spacing of 0.2 µ appeared to result from periodic distortion produced by impact of the knife. At the beam intensities customarily employed, differential sublimation and probably flow of the methacrylate resulted in obliteration of the bands and all but the deepest knife scratches. In addition, changes in the size, shape, and orientation of certain structures were noted. Artifacts resulting from incineration or sublimation of tissue components fixed in formalin were illustrated, and the suggestion was made that such instability to the electron beam accounted in part for the differences observed in osmium- and formalin-fixed tissues. The deformation revealed in serial sections was discussed, and it was pointed out that shortening in the axis perpendicular to the knife edge was associated with elongation in the axis parallel to the cutting edge, the elongation usually occurring locally without change in the width of the section. It was noted that the material causing contamination of the surface of sections during examination exhibited no structure but caused progressive loss of contrast.

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