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About Us: Facilities


Fluidigm BioMark HD

Use: High-throughput quantitative PCR and genotyping. 
Application: This instrument will be used to identify microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) in a variety of systems – in the Plaster Creek watershed, in the termite gut, In the snail gut, and in biofiltration systems (for waste treatment). The instrument allows researchers to link the identity of microorganisms with their functional role in these systems, an essential but very difficult task. It can also be used in genotyping studies of any organism.
Cost: $338,000
Source of funds: National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant

Eon Microplate Reader

Use:  Measuring absorbance, fluorescence of luminescence of indicator compounds in cellular/biochemical reactions
Application:  Quantifying enzyme activity, cell viability, cytotoxicity, antibody-based assays, protein/nucleic acid levels in small samples ranging from 2-300 microliters
Cost: $30,000
Source of funds:  HHMI grant

Ion Torrent

Use: Sequencing the genomes of bacteria and bacteriophages (both cultured and uncultured). Sequencing mRNA from a variety of sources.
Application: Comparative phage and bacterial genomics for characterization and to answer questions regarding diversity and roles of phage and bacteria in host-associated systems. To infer gene function from RNA transcripts and compare between populations of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
Cost: Around 125K
Source of funds: Bud and Arlene Star, Jerry and Emma Talen


MALDI-TOFUse: Protein/peptide/large organic molecule identification and characterization
Application: Proteomics of mycobacteriophage infection; proteomics of microaerophilic bacteria; characterization of matrix metalloproteinases; among numerous others.
Cost: $279,000
Source of Funds: National Science Foundation and Calvin College



CO2 IncubatorCO2 Incubator

Use: Allows cells to be grown in culture by emulating a cell’s normal environment in an organism
Application: Growing nerve cells to study regneration and repair
Cost: $76,000
Source of Funds: National Science Foundation


Laminar flow cabinetBiological Safety Cabinet

Use: Maintains safe, sterile environment for working with cultured mammalian cells
Application: Measuring how drugs affect cell growth
Cost: $76,000
Source of Funds: National Science Foundation

Flow cyclometerFlow Cytometer

Use: Measures fluorescently labeled structures in or on cells
Applications: Identifying leukemia cells or the amount of DNA in individual cells
Cost: $224,000
Source of Funds: National Science Foundation

inverted microscopeInverted Microscope

Use: Viewing living cells growing in culture
Application: Observing cellular responses to infection
Cost: $30,000
Source of Funds: Calvin Science Division Equipment Endowment

CO2 monitoring system

Portable Photosynthesis System

Use: Measure leaf fluorescence and gas exchange rates (CO2 and H2O) between plant leaves or insects and the atmosphere
Application: Measure photosynthesis and respiration rates of plants and insects
Cost: $90,000
Sources of Funds: :  LEEF II grant from LI-COR ($45,000) and the Calvin Science Division Equipment Endowment



Use: Sterilizes equipment and reagents by combined heat and pressure
Application: Sterilizing media for growing bacteria and other microorganisms
Cost: $45,000
Source of Funds: Private Donor


fluorescent microscope

Fluorescent Microscope

Use: Viewing fluorescently labeled structures in cells and tissue
Application: Observing nuclear staining patterns in cells from lupus patients
Cost: $33,000
Source of Funds: Dow Corning Corporation


CEQ Capilary DNA SequencerCEQ DNA sequencer

Use: Identifies the building blocks (nucleotides) of DNA and related molecules
Application: DNA fingerprinting to determine how organisms differ
genetically from each other
Cost: $70,000
Sources of Funds: Private Donor, Calvin Science Division Equipment Endowment

gene gunGene Gun

Use: Inserts (shoots) genes into living plants and animals
Application: Modify plants to produce natural pesticides from other organisms
Cost: $15,000
Source of Funds: National Science Foundation

infrared imaging systemInfrared Imaging System

Use: Visualizing images of genes, gene fragments, and gene products
Application: Distinguishing between normal and cancer cells
Cost: $37,000
Source of Funds: Howard Hughes Medical Institute


image documentation systemImage Documentation System

Use: Digitizing images for permanently recording laboratory
Application: DNA fingerprinting, killing of bacteria by antibiotics
Cost: $20,000
Sources of Funds: Several Research Grants


Use: Measuring fluorescently tagged structures in cells and tissues
Application: Measuring the amount of bacteria ingested by white blood cells




Ultracentrifuge and Rotors

Use: Separates structures by rotation at ultra high speed (80,000 rpm,
605,000 x g), an ultra high-speed refrigerated centrifuge
Application: Isolating and purifying cellular components (orangelles and small
Cost: $51,350
Sources of Funds: Kresge Grant and Calvin Equipment

cell 3D imagine systemCell 3D Imaging System (Zeiss Apotome)

Use: Captures 3D images of cells or tissues with computerized reconstruction of image—like a CAT scan of a cell
Application: Localizing internalized molecules within cells
Cost: $174,000
Source of Funds: National Science Foundation

Computerized Physiology Monitoring Equipment

Use: Measures light generated by a chemical reaction inside a cell
Application: Measuring a drug’s influence on gene expression or protein function
Cost: $16,500
Source of Funds: National Science Foundation