June 2007 Archives

In 2006 the Noller lab from the University of California, Santa Cruz solved the structure of the Thermus thermophilus 70S ribosome at 3.7Å resolution. This work was supported by data collected at both 12.3.1 and has been recently highlighted in the ALS news. The original publication was in CELL.

Korostelev A, Trakhanov S, Laurberg M, and Noller HF, “Crystal Structure of a 70S Ribosome-tRNA Complex Reveals Functional Interactions and Rearrangements.
Cell 126, 1-13, September 22, 2006.

Today DOMO mounted its first pin from the sample dewar that was filled with liquid nitrogen.

This video is pretty large so unless you are on a fast connection or have alot of time to waste trust me DOMO is finally crawling.

After two days of code wrangling, two snapped electrical cables, one crash into the goniometer, and several reconfigurations of the force sensor and gripper arms DOMO is alive. On Friday afternoon DOMO mounted its first sample successfully. There is still much work that needs to be done and many bugs to be ironed out, but the PX robot is now functioning.

The new PX automated sample mounting robot shall henceforth be known as “DOMO” as in Domo Arigato. Mr Roboto.

It’s short and catchy, but isn’t really an acronym for anything… yet

DOMO

Doer Of Mechanized Operations?

or

Dolt whO follows My Orders?

I think beer will be given to the person who comes up with the best acronym for DOMO.

Being the brave souls that we are we thought we would attempt to make a sample dewar without a lid. Our main concern is ice. We are concerned with the build up of ice around the rim of the dewar, but more important is the prevention of ice accumulating in the liquid nitrogen in the dewar. In order to prevent ice around the rim we have completely covered the top of the dewar with flexable silicon heaters as seen in the following picture.

This design works quite well. We have 240 Watts of heaters being powered by a 48VDC power supply and controlled with a small Minco controller. The prevention of ice building up in the liquid nitrogen is a much more complicated matter. Our present thinking is that a laminar flow of air across the surface of the nitrogen may be enough to draw off any accumulating ice crystals in the air above the nitrogen before they have time to reach “snowflake” size and fall into the liquid nitrogen…. pics and results to follow.

The Aluminum sample dewar enclosure actually fits. I guess you have to trust the 3D CAD drawings after all.

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