Big investment, tiny particles and a giant leap for BNL

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BY MICHAEL FAIRLIE //

Brookhaven National Laboratory is stepping up its electromicroscopy game, in a big way.

The fiscal year 2017 New York State budget includes $15 million for the Upton laboratory to purchase and install a cryo-electron microscope, which will work in tandem with the National Synchrotron Light Source II, the world’s brightest synchrotron light source.

Cryo-EM: Imaging a larger world.

The Cryo-EM will be the backbone of BNL’s new Long Island Facility for Electromicroscopy, a national user facility that will provide revolutionary Cryo-EM capabilities to an emerging user community.

The laboratory announced its electromicroscopy facility plans Thursday. At the press event, BNL Director Doon Gibbs said the new facility will “give a big boost to Long Island’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and have a positive impact on people’s quality of life.”

“The cryo-electron minute objects or features of objects.' class='tooltip'>microscope is an advanced imaging technology that will significantly accelerate scientists’ understanding of molecular structures and processes,” Gibbs said. “That includes impacts in understanding disease and, ultimately, also in drug discovery.”

The state-of-the-art device will help scientists develop quicker and more efficient disease treatments by imaging biomolecules in groundbreaking ways – an unprecedented advantage for life-sciences projects and medical researchers, according to laboratory insiders and supporters.

State Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who helped secure the Cryo-EM funding, noted the benefits the machine would provide for regional bioscience research.

“It has been a dream of mine to get Brookhaven, Cold Spring Harbor and Stony Brook to work together,” LaValle said Thursday.

Doon Gibbs: Thinking positive.

The world-class research institutions, of course, have collaborated before. When Albany tasked each of the 10 statewide Regional Economic Development Councils to come up with a primary focus, the Long Island REDC put its chips on life sci

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