Please join us for a CCN Seminar with C. Shan Xu, Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Physiology in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale University.
Title: Visualizing architecture across scales using enhanced FIB-SEM
Abstract: The ability to view biomolecules in cells and measure changes in their structure, quantity, distribution, and interactions is fundamental to understanding biology. Conventional Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) offers unique benefits such as high resolution (< 10 nm) and robust image alignment. However, its prevailing deficiencies in imaging speed and duration cap the maximum possible image volume. The development of enhanced FIB-SEM expanded the maximum possible image volume by 100,000x and achieved the finest possible isotropic resolution of 4 nm for whole cell imaging. The expanded volumes open up new approaches in scientific discovery, by combining nano-scale resolution with meso and even macro scale volumes. Using this technology, we enabled the largest and most detailed brain connectome to date, and created the first open-access, 3D atlas of whole cells and tissues with 4-nm voxels. We envision this as the beginning of a new transformative field and a holistic way of looking into the neuronal circuitry and cellular world, which will ultimately lead us to the understanding of how the brain works and how cells function.