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National Resource for Automated Molecular Microscopy

Bridget Carragher, and Clint Potter

Center Overview

The National Resource for Automated Molecular Microscopy (NRAMM) was established in 2003 with the mission of developing, testing and applying technology aimed at automating the processes involved in solving macromolecular structures using cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM). The last few years have witnessed several dramatic improvements in the progress of Molecular Microscopy.  New detectors and image processing software have enabled reconstruction of atomic resolution maps, opening up the possibility of using EM for structure based drug design.

Very high throughput, along with new and sophisticated algorithms and approaches, will be required for analyzing heterogeneous assemblies of structures, arguably the area of structural biology where molecular microcopy has the unique potential to make the most profound contribution. At NRAMM, we are focused on developing innovative methods aimed at removing or reducing the remaining barriers that limit molecular microscopy from reaching its full potential, and in doing so, opening up new opportunities for biomedical research.

NRAMM is based at the Simons Electron Microscopy Center (SEMC) at the New York Structural Biology Center (NYSBC). SEMC currently has four transmission electron microscopes. These include the JEOL 3200 (300KeV, field emission gun, energy filter) equipped with a DE20 direct electron detector camera; the FEI Tecnai F20 (200KeV, field emission gun) equipped with a TVIPS CMOS camera; the JEOL 2100F (200KeV, field emission gun) equipped with a Gatan K2 Summit direct detector; and the JEOL 1230 (120KeV) equipped with a Gatan4Kx4K CCD camera. We are currently in the process of installing a new FEI Titan Krios that will be equipped with a Falcon III direct detector. NYSBC also has a FEI Helios 650 FIB-SEM that is equipped with a cryo transfer system. A variety of ancillary equipment for preparing specimens (e.g. carbon evaporator, grid plungers, plasma cleaner, high pressure freezers, cryo-ultramicrotome) and for analyzing images is also available for use. All of the microscopes also support software for automated imaging (e.g. Leginon and SerialEM), and are connected by a high speed network to computer systems for data storage and a variety of relevant software for image analysis (e.g. Appion, SPIDER, EMAN, FREALIGN, XMIPP).



ResourceDescriptionSupported PlatformsSupported FormatsData TypeData Size (compressed)
National Resource for Automated Molecular Microscopy

Appion is a "pipeline" for processing and analysis of EM images. Appion is integrated with Leginon data acquisition but can also be used stand-alone after uploading images (either digital or scanned micrographs) or particle stacks using a set of provided tools.

Linux N/A N/A
National Resource for Automated Molecular Microscopy

Leginon is a system designed for automated collection of images from a transmission electron microscope.

Linux N/A N/A