Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Regional Flow and Imaging Meeting - GLIIFCA

I'd like to extend an invitation to a really great regional flow cytometry and imaging meeting that focuses not just on flow/imaging technology, but also application innovation and clinical topics as well. Attached is a flyer for the Great Lakes International Imaging and Flow Cytometry Association meeting September 19 - 21, 2008 in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It's close, it's cheap, and you'll get the opportunity to hang out with the flow lab!!!

Bring a poster to the meeting and you're eligible for a $100 stipend to help defray travel/hotel costs. You could also be awarded $150 for being selected as one of the most outstanding poster...like David was in 2006!

Contact the flow lab for more details, consult the attached flyer, or go to www.gliifca.org That's GLIIFCA with 2 I's because we're International (Yeah Canada!).

Students/youngsters may especially appreciate the opportunity at this casual/non-threatening atmosphere to practice your presentation skills.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The trouble with Filters

We've recently gone through some filter issues on the new LSRII-B. It turns out 2 of the filters pre-installed on our LSRII were bad. The two in question are the Alexa 700 filter and the Pac Orange. The Alexa 700 filter (720/40) was a non-standard diameter filter (probably 12mm diameter or so), and when the filter was in place, it would tip forward a bit since it was not snug in the filter holder. This allowed stray laser light or ambient light to get in and swamp the detector. The solution? Simply putting in a standard, 1 inch filter at 730/45. This should now allow for true, 3-color detection off the red laser. The Pac Orange filter was just a bad filter...sometimes you get a bad coating. We received 3 filters to try in its replacement; a 560/40, 550/40, and a 565/30. The winner will be chosen empirically by looking at not just how much PacOrange it collects, but how much Qdot 605 and PacBlue is excludes. If you want to give the different filters a try yourself, send me a note and we'll take a look together.

Next up to tackle on the LSRII-B...PE optimization. The problem with PE on the LSRII-B is the fact that the laser line exciting PE, 561nm, is so close to the emission of PE that there's a propensity to swamp the detector with laser light. I'll be testing a few different filters to see where we can get optimal PE detection without an increase in background from laser light. The PE-tandems, on the other hand, are absolutely fabulous off that laser line. No increase in background, and screaming bright fluorescence... Enjoy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is printing hard copies really necessary?

I honestly cannot remember the last time I printed out a hard copy of my flow data. At the end of each flowjo analysis and batch creation, I simply "print" a pdf of the output and save that into my electronic "notebook". The flow lab has recently been going through A LOT of printer ink and paper, and methinks there is a ton of frivolous printing going on. We have slowly been getting rid of printers and only using them for sorting snapshots. You may notice that there isn't even a printer available when you're on the analysis workstations. This is not a computer issue, it's an effort to reduce unnecessary printing. We recommend you make a pdf of your flowjo output, take it back to your lab, and if you really must, print it out there. If you really, absolutely, must print something in the flow lab, ask us and we'll allow it on a limited basis. If you have any questions about doing this in flowjo, just ask and we'll be happy to show you.