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Research in the EM Facility - 2007/2008

Academic Year 2006/2007, 2008/2009, 2009/2010

There are several students in various fields of study who are currently engaged in research projects that utilize the Electron Microscopy Facility. They are:

Engineering - Nanowires & Atomic Lattice Imaging

Crocidolite asbestos (TEM)
Ankit Saraf (2010)
A project utilizing the Philips CM12 TEM/(S)TEM is underway to study nanowires grown in the Engineering Dept. at Yale U., in conjunction with Southern Connecticut State University and the MRSEC (Materials Research in Science and Engineering Center) recently established between the two entities and Brookhaven National Lab. The CM12's analytical capabilities enable surveys of the nanowires' overall structure and ultimately, using x-ray energy-dispersive spectroscopy, identification and mapping of the elements that comprise them. Freshman Ankit Saraf (2010) has been learning to use the TEM at its highest level, and also has learned to use the ultramicrtome in order to examine the nanowires in cross-section..

Biology - Viviparous Reptiles (2 projects)

Lizard placental tissue (TEM)
Greg Gavelis (2008)
With Prof. Blackburn, Greg Gavelis (2008) is using both LM and the Zeiss EM900 TEM to study to placental specializations in the viviparous lizard Sceloporus jarrovi, to characterise tissue morphology during the development of the fetus within the female. Greg began using the EM Facility as a freshman in the Interdisciplinary Science Program, and has progressed to routine use of a diamond knife on a Reichert Ultracut E ultramicrotome to produce semi-thin sections for LM and thin sections for the TEM. He uses both the digital imaging system and, for best resolution, plate photography that he digitizes with a high-resolution negative scanner. In Summer 2007, he presented his results Paris!
Embryonic snake
(LM and SEM)
Kristie Anderson (2010)
The LM and SEM is enabling the elucidation of structures that arise during the embryonic development of corn snakes, both the egg-laying or oviviparous Pituophis guttatus and the live-bearer or viviparous Storeria dekayi . They are under investigation by Kristie Anderson (2010) who learned to use the SEM as a freshman in the Interdisciplinary Science Program and who is now studying with Prof. Blackburn. She has also devised a way to prepare and examine the inner surfaces of the eggs. Her work will further illuminate the developmental characteristics of these reptiles, and the relationships between maternal and fetal tissues.

Chemistry - Active Sites on Collagen

DNA and collagen molecules (TEM & rotary shadowing)
Piper Klemm (2009)
The TEM enables visualization of biological macromolecules such as DNA and collagen. The rotary shadowing technique is employed to make these macromolecules visible in the TEM. Under the direction of Prof. Prigodich, Piper Klemm (2009) is using the Philips CM12 TEM/STEM and the rotary shadowing technique to study the active sites of Type I tropocollagen. She first performed a proof-of-concept experiment using DNA (imaged here). She is now working to determine the correct concentration, pH, and other factors in order to visualize and study the binding sites on collagen.