July 26, 2017
by Carol Lynn Alpert
Every four weeks the whole team gathers around phones in Boston, Ohio, and Georgia to update each other on the research and to troubleshoot problems. The calls come into PI Carol Lynn's conference line at the Museum of Science. Carol Lynn and Karine record notes to send out to everyone after the call. QSTORM research associates (otherwise known as graduate students) take charge of reporting and sending images and data. Here is a very brief update from July's meeting:
The Georgia Optics team is in the midst of assembling their new STORM scope with capabilities for holographic and light sheet imaging that will give it 3D resolution, up to 10 microns in depth (most cells are only 7-8 microns across). Abhijit runs computer simulations testing various design considerations for the hardware already on order. He is also running image processing tests of nanoscale fluorophores placed in 3D helical patterns, to determine the specifications for the algorithms he will need to design to render the data cleanly. In the meantime, the lab is using the existing system to run experimental studies with colleagues in bio. One is studying the effects of the common cold virus on mitochondria and...
...REU student Kenya Alfaro has been lending a hand.
Meanwhile, the Ohio QDot team is building their own two-laser imaging test-bed, with counsel from Peter and the local Ohio State laser physics team. The Winter Lab will use this tool to test their control of the new QDots they are designing with photo-activated "quenching switches" made of DNA and azobenezene linker molecules. Abby and Kil Ho are troubleshooting all sorts of difficulties getting the DNA linkers to conjugate to the coated QDots they have synthesized for the task.
This phone call included a review of recent imaging papers and some in-depth discussion over various ways to isolate signal over background noise given that the QDots will need to be energized by visible light to stimulate linker molecule switching on and off, and also be activated by ultraviolet light to stimulate emissions from the QDot cores.
Meanwhile the MOS team is entertaining scads of summer visitors with the "Making Molecular Movies with QSTORM" presentation, and building content and structure for the new website. Phone call participants liked the new mock-up pages they were sent, including new bio pages for each of them. MOS IT wizard Leah Brunetto says the site could go live by mid-August.