3D Microscopy of Fossils Embedded in Solid Rock
If they are just trying these techniques now, then paleontologists need to start visiting with other departments. The sciences have evolved so much over they last 20 years that in order to do any real work you have to associate with people outside your discipline.
LSCM has been used for ages outside of biology in quality control for chip manufactures.
Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy improves your Z resolution by eliminating light from above and below the plane of focus. This helps in thick biological samples. Usually you can only image up to 300 microns into a sample (sometimes up to 700 depending on objective and wavelength).
Now, with fossils, I assume that you can only see the very top layer, because light wont penetrate rock that far.
The Raman effect was described in 1928. However, robust applications in conjunction with microscopy are somewhat new so I would say that this group is not coming on board to late in the game. Raman with microscopy is pretty cool because you can make chemical maps that correlate to images you have taken. See this paper .
Anyway , I'm glad to see that they are using some advanced techniques.