Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Superconducting Magnet Attracts Molecular Research

Date:
November 2, 2005
Source:
Brandeis University
Summary:
One of the newest – and unequivocally the coolest -- pieces of real estate on the Brandeis campus is a facility containing a state-of-the-art superconducting magnet for use in researching biological macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, enzymes and other proteins.

One of the newest – and unequivocally the coolest -- pieces of real estate on the Brandeis campus is a facility containing a state-of-the-art superconducting magnet for use in researching biological macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, enzymes and other proteins.
Credit: Image courtesy of Brandeis University

One of the newest – and unequivocally the coolest -- pieces of real estate on the Brandeis campus is a facility containing a state-of-the-art superconducting magnet for use in researching biological macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, enzymes and other proteins.

Related Articles


The installation of the gleaming 800 MHz German-made Bruker magnet was recently completed in a specially built facility on South Street. Weighing in at roughly seven and a half tons, the magnetic resonance (MR) spectrometer was funded by a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a stiff competition among research universities. Since 2001, the NIH has funded only three such magnets nationwide, said professor of chemistry Tom Pochapsky, who spearheaded a group effort to bring the magnet to Brandeis.

“It’s a testament to Brandeis’ strength in this area that the magnet is located on our campus and under our stewardship,” noted Pochapsky.

Brought in by crane and located at a site protected from large metal objects and radio frequency interference, the superconducting behemoth was actually energized with about the same amount of power consumed by a big stereo, Pochapsky explained.

First, the superconducting electric coils that create the magnetic field were bathed in liquid helium to drop the temperature to 2 degrees Kelvin or minus 456 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the coils were supercooled, electric current was able to pass through them without resistance, creating the magnetic field. Once at field, the magnet uses no power at all, although the large liquid helium tank surrounding the coil needs to be refilled every six weeks or so.

Once the magnet has been fully tested, Brandeis researchers, as well as other Boston-area universities engaged in NIH-funded biomedical research, will use it around the clock. Experiments usually run in weeklong blocks, though some may run for several weeks at a time, according to Pochapsky.

Magnetic resonance is a physical phenomenon based on the magnetic property of an atom’s nucleus. It occurs when the nuclei of certain atoms are immersed in a static magnetic field and then exposed to a second oscillating field, causing them to essentially line up and act in unison, like a battalion of marching soldiers, said Pochapsky.

The electrons, neutrons and protons within the atom have an intrinsic property known as “spin” and within the electromagnetic field created by the magnet, the frequency of the spinning motion of the atoms reveals information about the physical, chemical, structural and electronic characteristics of the molecule in solution.

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy was first described more than a half century ago, and is related to MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) used in hospitals as a soft-tissue diagnostic tool. It is used in chemical and biochemical research because it is the most sophisticated analytical tool available for determining the three-dimensional structure and motion of biological molecules in solution. The average hospital-based MRI has an electromagnetic field of about 7 Tesla, while this superconducting magnet is more than twice as powerful, measuring a magnetic field of 18.8 Tesla, said Pochapsky.

“Brandeis has done pioneering work in structural biology for decades, and this magnet helps keep us at the cutting edge of research,” said Pochapsky. “It’s an investment in the future.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brandeis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brandeis University. "Superconducting Magnet Attracts Molecular Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051102174108.htm>.
Brandeis University. (2005, November 2). Superconducting Magnet Attracts Molecular Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051102174108.htm
Brandeis University. "Superconducting Magnet Attracts Molecular Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051102174108.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins