Biology Department Biology Department  

Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Facility

Starting a Project

  1. Classify your interest into one or more of the following categories and check examples
  2.     a. Newly discovered complex, is it "real"? (Typically 3 specimens, 9 grids)
        b. CryoEM or x-ray symmetry or unit cell is ambiguous (1 specimen, 3 grids)
        c. You know subunit MW for components, but not stoichiometry for complex
           (1 specimen, 3 grids)
        d. You wish to compare assembled and native complexes (2 specimens, 6 grids)
        e. Same as above but assembled with labeled subunit(s) (3 specimens, 9 grids)
        f. You wish to follow a series of assembly steps or intermediates (N specimens, 3N grids)
  3. List: goal(s), sample physical description, concentration, buffer, stability (vs. time, salt, concentration, detergent (usually a problem)) and time frame. Note that particulates and fibers with no UV absorption or staining on gels will be perfectly visible in STEM specimens and may complicate analysis, especially for amyloids.
  4. Read "STEM Specimen Preparation" below and note any problems you anticipate
  5. E-mail or telephone (note: best times for telephone are M, W, T, 1-7 pm)
  6. After discussion, provide a 1-paragraph summary of your goals for the STEM project and a description of the sample(s)
  7.    being sent. Also please provide any relevant background material.
  8. Arrange finances (~$400/grid), shipping date (with Beth Lin) and ship specimen by overnight package delivery (e.g. FedEx). Check with NIH whether your program manager is willing to provide a supplement to cover STEM charges (many are).
  9. We will prepare grids on the day the specimen(s) arrive and store them under liquid nitrogen until STEM time is available.     We will advise you on estimated turnaround time and send e-mail when images are available on
  10. (Note: visits to BNL are welcome. Non-US citizens need prior approval (months) and all visitors must complete a Guest Information Form. Overnight freeze-drying means at least a 2-day visit unless your specimens are sent in advance. Housing is available on-site or in the area. Lab space can be arranged if time-critical preparations are required.)


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Last Modified: June 12, 2009
Please forward all questions about this site to: Kathy Folkers

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