A system to produce, store and analyze images of the distribution of radiolabeled DNA, RNA and proteins in electrophoretic gets, Southern-, northern-, western-, and dot-blots and thin-layer chromatograms will be acquired. The same imaging system will also record x-ray diffraction patterns that are used to determine the three dimensional structures of proteins and complexes of proteins with DNA and RNA. The detectors in this system will be photostimulable phosphor screens that form a latent image when exposed to beta- and x-rays. The latent image is converted into a digital image by a laser scanner. Photostimulable phosphor detection provides significant increases in radiometric sensitivity, accuracy of quantitation and dynamics range compared to conventional x-ray film. Phosphor screens have better spatial resolution, can acquire larger images, and permit more flexible collection of image data compared to other technologies that have been developed to replace x- ray film. The image data system consists of three major components. A computer controlled laser scanner will transcribe the latent image in a phosphor screen to a digital form. The digital image will be transferred to the disk of a multi-user file server, which will provide convenient short-term access and cost-effective long-term storage of images files. Images will be transferred from the server to analysis workstations that will be provided by the Major Users of the system. Eight research groups, consisting of thirty four scientists, will be the Major Users of the system. Each Major User Group has either active or pending support from NIH. All are located in the Biology Department of Brookhaven National Laboratory. The system will also be available to seven additional research groups (a total of 25 scientists) from the Biology Department and to scientists from the Chemistry and Medical Departments at Brookhaven, the graduate and medical schools of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.
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