SMIF’s cryo-TEM instrumental in development of coronavirus vaccine

Researchers at Duke are hard at work in the development of a novel vaccine to fight the coronavirus. The cryo-transmission electron microscope housed at Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF) is playing a major role in this work. This microscope helps scientists determine the structure of proteins in the virus to help guide vaccine design. To learn more, see the press release here.

Explore the World through Microscopes

The RTNN will return to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC on Saturday, August 17th from 10 am – 4 pm.

We will investigate things you encounter every day through a different lens! Join us as we take an up-close look at everything from bugs to Band-Aids through a Scanning Electron Microscope! Can you guess what you’re viewing from structures nanometers small?

Learn more about our previous event at the museum here.

A Giant Tool to See the Tiniest Things

The cryo-TEM housed in Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility was recently featured in Duke’s Research News. This instrument helps researchers resolve the complex structures of proteins. The cryo-TEM can capture hundreds of thousands of images of these small molecules, and power software is employed to reconstruct the structures in three-dimensions. To learn more, read the full news article.

Museum Patrons Learn the Joys of Microscopy

To celebrate Nanomonth at the Museum of Life and Science, the RTNN brought its expertise as well as a set of light microscopes and a portable desktop scanning electron microscope to The Lab. This venue provides a unique space for hands-on science experiences. Museum visitors learned the differences between the two types of microscopes and examined a variety of samples on each tool. Over 130 people of all ages stopped by to view electronic components found in their phones and tablets and the structures that give Morpho butterfly wings their brilliant blue color. During the NC Science Festival we will be at the Chapel Hill Public Library on April 13th from 1-3 pm with these microscopes and other nanotechnology hands-on activities.

Transmission Electron Microscopy Short Course

NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) is giving a hands-on short course on transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and related techniques, which are very powerful to understand the morphology, structure, defects, crystal orientation and phase information of materials, as well as the chemical distribution down to atomic resolution. It is meant for new TEM users with an interdisciplinary background and/or those interested in learning advanced characterization techniques. The course will include 1.5 hours of theory component and the rest of the day will be in laboratories.

This introductory course will cover the following topics:

  1. Basic principles of TEM
  2. Basic diffraction and imaging
  3. Introduction of advanced characterization techniques

After completion of this course, the attendee will be able to gain theory and practical knowledge on how to do basic imaging and diffraction within TEM, what information the advanced TEM techniques can provide, as well as how to design their own experiments for their projects.

Registration costs: $50 for academic, government, and non-profit participants; $350 for industry participants.

For more details and to register, please visit the short course website.