Things to Consider Before Starting an Electron Microscopy Project
Will my project benefit from using electron microscopy?
- Electron microscopy is capable of determining protein structures down to 1.2 Å resolution and resolving proteins as small as 64 kDa. However, these examples are the most ideal cases (rigid, symmetrical, well-behaved proteins) and more typical ranges for size and resolution are 200+ kDa and 2.5-4.5 Å resolution.
How involved do I want to be in the sample preparation/data collection process?
- Training is a large time investment for both EM staff and users. There are protocols and pricing structures in place for the entire workflow. These can be mixed and matched as necessary, but follow a predetermined order.
Where/how will I store and process my data?
- Electron microscopy produces large amounts of data that will often need to be accessible for months. The Electron Microscopy shared resource provides limited temporary storage for initial data collection, but long-term storage and processing is not available. We are happy to provide suggestions.
- Please keep in mind:
- Raw data can be more than 4 TB for one dataset.
- Aligned micrographs may need to be stored in fast or scratch space for many months and processing can double dataset size.
- Processing will necessitate access to, and proficient use of, the HPC managed by the Hutch's Scientific Computing team or personal workstations.
You can schedule consultation with Electron Microscopy shared resource staff to discuss these questions at any point in your project.