Support technologies provide facilities, services, specialised equipment and specialised expertise to FLI researchers and their collaborating partners. The organisation and responsibility for facilities, services and the specialised equipment usually rests with the research group constituting the main user.
The light microscopy facility covers the range from "simple" cell culture fluorescence microscopes to advanced time-lapse, total internal reflection, confocal-like microscopy (ApoTome) and an advanced high-end confocal microscope with fluorescence lifetime extension, FRET, FRAP and live-cell imaging. User training, usage and support is provided by the Microscope User Group (MUG).
The electron microscopy facility houses two transmission electron microscopes (Philipps EM400T, Zeiss CEM902A) and equipment for sample preparation. It provides expertise and equipment for ultrastructural analysis for FLI and collaborating external users (Elektronenmikroskopisches Zentrum der FSU). A raster electron microscope (Zeiss Leo 1530) has been lent to the Electron Microscopy Centre of the FSU.
The research irradiator (Gammacell40, MDS Nordion) has been installed for experimental irradiation of tissue culture samples and small laboratory animals with ionizing gamma-rays (137Cs; 1 Gy/min).
The flow cytometry / cell sorting facility is equipped with three state-of-the-art cell analyzers (BD FACSCanto II, BD FACSVerse, Millipore Guava 8HT) and a cell sorter (BD FACSAria IIu).
The High Content Screening and Analysis Unit of the FLI provides expertise and technical support to the research groups of the institute conducting large-scale image-based RNAi screening experiments. It operates two fully automated HCA microscopes, software for image acquisition and data analysis, storage capabilities for large data sets, a high-throughput capacity liquid handling workstation and two genome-wide (human & mouse) siRNA libraries.
The protein crystallography group (Than) operates a crystallization room, one liquid handling robot each for screen preparation and for the high throughput setup of nanoliter crystallization plate as well as an automated crystal imaging system and two stereo microscopes for documentation. Two rotating anode X-ray generators equipped with one image plate detector system including a cryosystem each are used for in-house data collection. For crystallographic calculations, model building and analysis a Linux-based computer system has been set up and is administered jointly by the FLI bioinfomatics group and the protein crystallography group.
Three NMR spectrometers (500 MHz wide-bore, 600 MHz with a cryogenic probe and 750 MHz) are operated by the NMR group (Görlach) and are available for collaborative research projects. A cluster of workstations including a SGI 8 CPU Origin for data processing, evaluation, structure calculation and methods development is integrated into the FLI IT infrastructure. The setup for recombinant production of isotope (13C, 15N, 2H) labeled biomolecules is housed in the wet lab of the NMR group.
The protein laboratory of the research lab Grosse supports FLI scientists and many external collaborating partners in protein identification and characterization. The current instrumentation comprises an Edman sequencer, a MALDI-ToF-MS, two ESI-MS, and devices for online or offline separation at different scales.
Partially automated DNA sequencing pipelines have been set up for high-throughput genomic sequencing, sample sequencing of genomic and Expessed Sequence Tag (EST) libraries, high-throughput mutation and variation detection by dye-terminator re-sequencing, medium scale Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) and transcript quantification by pyrosequencing, large scale sequence assembly, editing and annotation. This includes two ABI3730XL, one GS FLX and one PSQ96 sequencer, robots for large-scale DNA preparation and liquid handling and a Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (QPCR) machine. Data handling and evaluation for automatic assembly, large-scale analysis and annotation of mammalian and prokaryotic genomic sequences is carried out via a network of five SUN workstations and a 20 node Linux cluster, including 40 X-terminals. The vast majority of the projects cover scientific collaborations with in-house and/or local, national and international partners.
In addition to pursueing research projects in Computational Structural Biology and Computational Genomics, the Biocomputing Group (Sühnel) supports experimental research groups with bioinfomatics expertise. These cooperations are partly embedded in the Jena Center for Bioinfomatics (JCB).
In addition, the group maintains the central computer services such as mail, domain name service and web, and also provides client support for PC, MacIntosh and UNIX/Linux computers.
The zebrafish facility has a capacity for 3,000 animals. In addition, it houses two stations for microinjection. The facility for Nothobranchius furzeri, an annual fish that was established as a novel model for ageing research, currently provides space for 1,500 adult fish.
The current mouse facility houses genetically modified animals with a capacity of 1,500 cages (about 6,000 mice). The facility is free of major pathogens.
The histopathology facility allows analysis of animal models and includes the required equipment for the preparation of histological specimens and a discussion microscope. A histology user group (HUG) offers support by in-house as well as outside experts in histology and pathology.
A platform to efficiently generate transgenic and knockout animals and to preserve mutant strains was set up. The phenotyping facility is equipped to monitor physiological and phenotypic parameters of mutant strains with respect to ageing or disease.
Last update: June 19, 2008