OCEM Autumn Newsletter
The 2016 OCEM newsletter is now available for download. In this issue: arrival of the high pressure freezer; Avizo software installation; oscillating diamond knives; monthly microscopy meetings; funding successful for a direct detector; recent publication; EM student award; PhD projects; cryo-EM information; staff news.
OCEM 2016 Newsletter
High Pressure Freezing Now Available in New Zealand
The Leica EM PACT 2 High Pressure Freezer has arrived and we are now able to cryo-fix samples up to 200Ám thick. Until now we had been limited to slam freezing, which produces only ~10Ám of vitrified ice. The EM PACT 2 will freeze samples within milliseconds, ensuring simultaneous immobilisation of all macromolecular components and fantastic ultra-structural preservation. This will also facilitate the study of dynamic processes as cells can be live-imaged and then frozen using the Rapid Loader. This is the first High Pressure Freezer in New Zealand and was funded by Lottery Health Research, the Otago School of Medical Sciences and the Department of Anatomy. There are already 8 projects using the freezer, involving looking at bee antennae, blood vessels, and zebrafish.
Submarine Volcano Project Wins EM Student Award
Congratulations to Arran Murch who has received the April 2016 EM Student Award for his project "Implications of ash-particle characteristics for fragmentation during a big explosive submarine eruption". The award entitles the winner to 15 hours electron microscope time which Arran will use on the Zeiss SEM to image ash particles from submarine volcanic eruptions and measure the population, texture and size range of the bubbles. He will also use EBSD techniques on to quantify crystals of ash grains. Submarine eruptions account for around 85% of the total volcanic activity on earth but are underrepresented in the literature. Better understanding how magma evolves during ascent will lead to better predictions and mitigation of eruption hazards. Arran is a PhD student in the Geology Department and is supervised by Professor James White. The closing date for the next EM Student award is the 1st of September. For more information about the award and application forms visit the EM Student Award webpage.