Article adapted from the Berkeley Lab Newscenter
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is supporting the development of a unique microscopy concept pioneered by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) as part of the Foundation’s Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative (SASI) – an international project that seeks to equip the scientific community with the tools and infrastructure needed to investigate symbiosis in aquatic microbes.
The Berkeley Lab effort has received $500,000 and will be led by senior staff scientist Hoi-Ying Holman of the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division (MBIB). Stefano Cabrini, director of the Foundry’s Nanofabrication facility, and Hans Bechtel, an infrared beamline scientist at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), are investigators on the project. The Berkeley Lab team is one of 42 international groups selected to advance new genetic analysis and engineering tools, invent aquatic microbe cultivation methods, and develop new microscopy approaches over a three-year period.
Holman and her colleagues believe the combination of techniques will advance the current boundaries of nanoscale infrared imaging by making more efficient use of the synchrotron infrared-rays and substantially increasing the signal to noise ratio. It will also increase the diversity of the symbiosis model systems that can be studied. Examples of aquatic symbiosis systems include coral polyps and single-celled photosynthetic algae, chemosynthetic bacteria and deep-sea tubeworms, and bioluminescent marine bacteria and the Hawaiian bobtail squid.