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SUNY ESF hopes new microscope will spur research in Syracuse

The old microscope the new transmission electron microscope will replace

Scientists in central New York will soon be able to use a new high tech microscope.  Federal research funds will help pay for the latest in transmission electron microscopes at SUNY ESF in Syracuse.

The National Science  Foundation has awarded an over $1 million grant to SUNY ESF to buy the new field emission scanning/transmission electron microscope. It will be the only one of its kind in the Syracuse area, and professor Susan Anagnost says it will afford scientists a look at tiny molecular structure.

"Capabilities of these microscopes has improved immensely. So that we can see things much smaller at the nano scale, actually less than one nanometer in size, which we can’t do with the instrument we have now,” said Anagnost.

The new instrument will help researchers in a number of different fields -- ranging from exploring protein structures that can help find ways to treat and fight human diseases, to visualizing atoms, and creating new consumer products from renewable resources. 

“For example, biological research requires protection of the sample because they’re more delicate, whereas, inorganic samples don’t require these same techniques. This new instrument provides capabilities for both,” said Anagnost.

Researchers at Syracuse University and the Upstate Medical University will be among those using the new technology. Anagnost says this high tech microscope will help these scientists with grant proposals and be a draw for researchers considering jobs in the Syracuse area.

“Having an instrument like this would definitely attract collaboration from scientists, for hiring new faculty it would be a draw for them. Local industry, if we want to collaborate and partner with them, we’re here and would be open to that.” 

The new instrument will be housed on campus along with 30-year-old microscope that’s being replace will continue to be used for teaching purposes.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.