The race is on to produce a 3D map of every neural connection in the brain. Neuroscientists and imaging experts are working closely with experts in AI and machine learning to image and decode the trillions of tiny circuits that together produce thought, sensation, movement, and memory. Hang on as we fly through the vastness of inner space. 31 minutes. Produced by the Museum of Science with support from the National Science Foundation, awards DBI 1555541 and CCF 1231216. Executive producer and PI: Carol Lynn Alpert; Writer and producer: Larry Klein; Editor: Ryan Shepheard. © 2021 Museum of Science.
At the Museum of Science in Boston, Karine Thate presents the founding story of QSTORM and explains the basic science and technology behind the team's quest to record the nanoscale operations of life inside living cells. This is an audience-friendly introduction to Peter Kner's super-resolution imaging strategy; Jessica Winter's quest to make switchable quantum dots to complement that strategy; Ge Yang's quest to understand transport in nerve cells; and Beth Brainerd's quest to understand the molecular-scale workings of muscle tissue. (20 min.)
While Jessica Winter is at work designing the quantum dots for use in QSTORM imaging, she is also inventing new ways to use them for cancer diagnostics. At the Museum of Science, Megan Litwhiler tells the story of Jessica Winter’s invention of a new cancer diagnostic tool, her struggle to scale-up production with help from key allies, and her introduction to entrepreneurship through the National Science Foundation’s iCorps program. When cancer struck Jessica, at the age of 35, she redoubled her efforts to get the potentially life-saving product to market. In this telling, Megan Litwhiler provides additional hands-on insight into fundamentals of cancer biology, personalized medicine, quantum dots, and a new nano-manufacturing technique. (21 min.)
MIT Professor Moungi Bawendi is one of the pioneers in developing new applications for quantum dots - in everything from light bulbs to TVs to medicine. Here, in his 2011 NanoDays presentation at the Museum of Science, he explains what quantum dots are, how they work, and some current and potential future applications. (16 min.)
At the age of 35, Jessica Winter found out she had breast cancer. Her response? Invent a new way of using quantum dots for pinpoint diagnosis and personalized medicine; then, recruit allies and investors to scale up production for clinical use. Here, Jessica tells her story to a NanoDays audience at the Museum of Science in Boston. (23 min.)
Peter heads off the set of five QSTORM presentations delivered at Histochemistry 2012 at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory. He provides a brief overview of super resolution imaging and presents the team's first set of imaging data before outlining next steps in the development of the QSTORM technique. (21 min.)
While Jessica was recovering from cancer surgery, her colleague Gang Ruan presented the Winter lab’s QSTORM research efforts at Histochemistry 2012, held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In this talk, Gang focuses on the effort to design the switchable quantum dots required for STORM super-resolution imaging. (13 min.)
Carol Lynn illustrates the dual role of the Museum of Science team in the QSTORM collaboration: (1) facilitating communication and data-sharing across four highly-specialized research teams; and (2) assisting those research teams in their education and outreach efforts. These two roles complement each other, leading her to posit a "research communication continuum hypothesis:" engaging in outreach helps scientists learn to communicate more effectively across disciplines, and the reverse. (17 min.)
Beth takes the audience on a tour of striated muscle anatomy, then introduces the mystery she hopes QSTORM can help her solve – How do muscles contract? By what specific molecular mechanism? We see preliminary confocal and QSTORM images comparing the absorption of quantum dots and Alexa dyes in zebrafish and rabbit psoas models, after microinjection. (16 min.)
Ge shows his preliminary microscopy data tracking nerve cell vesicle transport along microtubules in Drosophila, and discusses possible roles of the tau protein in regulating and sometimes disrupting that traffic, leading to neurodegenerative disease. We see his first efforts to get around microinjection of quantum dots by culturing them in growth solution along with mouse hippocampal cells, and early STORM imaging efforts. (24 min.)
Dr. Peter Kner from the University of Georgia describes breakthrough imaging techniques that give us super-resolution views inside living cells.
Dr. Jessica Winter from the Ohio State University describes her path from nanoparticle engineer to entrepreneur, and how she's taking her new inventions to market.
Our nerve cells contain thread-like molecular-scale transport systems that ferry essential materials from cell bodies to the tips of their axons (where neurotransmitters are released) and back. Diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinson's seem to be associated with traffic jams on these sub cellular highways. Hear how Carnegie Mellon researcher Ge Yang and the QSTORM biological imaging team are working to achieve super-resolution views of traffic flow beyond the traditional limits of microscopy.
In this 1-minute animation by a team from the New England Institute of Art, the four frustrated scientists transform themselves into a superhero dream team when a chemical engineer supplies them with quantum dots that could help them make a major breakthrough in biological imaging. (1 min.)
Despite her yoga training, Texas-born chemist Jessica O. Winter lurches angrily from one failed experiment to another until she finally finds the secret to controlling her rolicking quantum dots. Only when she can succeed in "switching one off" can she clearly image one at a time. Created by a 3D animation team at the New England Institute of Art. (1:30 min.)