May 6, 2017
by Carol Lynn Alpert
HELLO QSTORM FOLLOWERS: WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AND A GROUP OF OUR PEERS HAVE AWARDED US FUNDS TO DEVELOP THE NEW QSTORM-ADAPTIVE OPTICS INSTRUMENT FOR SUPER-RESOLUTION IMAGING IN THICK TISSUE!
We received the notice this week, and our award (DBI-1555541) begins immediately. QSTORM-AO involves QSTORM veterans Peter Kner (University of Georgia), Jessica Winter (The Ohio State Univerisity, and Carol Lynn Alpert (Museum of Science, Boston), along with their colleagues and students. The new instrument – to be built in Athens, Georgia – will use holographic imaging with advanced display technologies and new techniques for correcting distortions induced by light scattering in thick biological tissue. At The Ohio State University, semiconductor nanotechnology will be combined with DNA origami to create intensely bright and switchable light emitters, individually targetable to selected molecules operating within biological systems. This novel combination of high-precision technologies will provide investigators with unprecedented insight into critical sub-cellular biological processes within fruit flies and zebrafish and other model organisms important for biological research. This close collaboration at the intersection of biology, physics, optics, and chemical engineering will provide a unique training opportunity for graduate student collaborators and it will be enriched with professional development in interdisciplinary science communication skills, provided by the Museum of Science team. All team members will contribute to the development of the online team blog, lab notebook, and the QSTORM-AO website, in a quest to capture the instrument development process in real time, within a broader historical, scientific, and visual context. Visitors to the Museum of Science will get weekly updates on the team’s progress, the NanoNerds YouTube Channel will carry podcast updates and the team will work with Emmy-Award winning NOVA producer Lawrence Klein to produce a short film on the quest to see more clearly and deeply into the mysteries of life.