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State-of-the-art cryo-EM installed at Instruct Centre ES


A new, state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscope (cryo-EM) has been installed at Instruct Centre ES following a joint, eight-million-euro investment of the Spanish National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC) and EU structural funds. The JEOL JEM-Z300FSC (CRYO ARM™ 300) microscope, housed at the CNB-CSIC in Madrid, is the first of its kind to be installed in Spain. The new microscope, together with new correlative microscopy facilities, will be made available to Spanish users and also to European researchers through Instruct-ERIC, for a variety of scientific projects.

"The new cryo-EM facility at the CNB-CSIC intends to provide service to the large community of Spanish structural biologists which was in need of adequate infrastructure, but also help both the European academia and industry through its connection with Instruct" remarked Prof José María Valpuesta, director of the cryo-EM facility at CNB-CSIC.

"We are very happy to have the new cryo-EM facility at the CNB-CSIC,” added Prof José María Carazo, director of the Instruct Center for Image Processing. “We are sure that this facility, together with the already well-established Instruct Centre for cryo-EM image processing, also at the CNB-CSIC, will make an excellent team with broad national and international impact."

The JEOL JEM-Z300FSC cryo-EM has a 300kV accelerating voltage and is fitted with a K3 direct detector. The microscope is also supported by a smaller microscope with 100kV accelerating voltage for negative-stain screening. For tomographic applications, the facility has also acquired a Zeiss-based system to make lamella, together with a cryo-super resolution microscope.

The new microscope has already been put to work on a number of high-priority COVID-19 projects. Remarking on the significance of the new cryo-EM, Inmaculada Figueroa, Vice Deputy Director General for the Internationalisation of Science and Innovation, stated that "the clear commitment of Spain in the use of structural funds for the construction and the highest technology equipping of Research Infrastructures is confirmed today as a necessary funding strategy. One example is the recently installed cryo-electronic microscope at the CNB-CSIC, which offers unique opportunities to research teams in their relentless search for solutions to the coronavirus crisis."

European researchers will soon be able to request access through the Instruct-ERIC online catalogue.

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