The facility is located in the Northwest Laboratory Building at 52 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. The Electron Microscopy (EM) facility is in the fourth and lowest sub-basement level where vibration, humidity, and temperature stability is high. The facility has three scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) that are available for use. The SEMs include a Zeiss Sigma, ThermoFisher (FEI) Magellan, and a Zeiss MSEM 505. The latter device is an ultrafast multibeam secondary electron scanning electron microscope that has a net throughput of 200 M pixels/sec (imaging at 1.2 G pixels per second) assuming no retakes. We also host a microCT device (Zeiss Xradia) also fluorescence and reflected light microscopes for section analysis and wafer mapping. The facility includes adjacent space for preparing (staining, embedding, sectioning, wafer fabrication for tissue samples). It contains two dissection rooms with fume hoods for perfusion, heavy metal staining, and dissection. Two additional rooms house the automatic tape collecting ultramicrotomes (3) and devices to trim blocks. Other space contains dissection rooms, wet lab procedure rooms (for immunohistology, etc.), and carrels for computational work. Optical imaging, if required, can be done (for a fee) in the Harvard Center for Biological Imaging (HCBI). The HCBI is a novel evergreen imaging facility (https://hcbi.fas.harvard.edu/ ) containing new state-of-the-art commercial imaging devices that are leased, and turnover each 24-36 months. Thirteen imaging devices and six image processing devices comprise the HCBI.
Local computing (for serial electron microscopy montaging, registration, and segmentation) will use the Harvard Research Computing Odyssey, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences GPU cluster Resonance and the facility’s 224 core Intel devices with 3TB of memory (gift from Intel). As the images are acquired, data is sent to our 1.2 PB server via a 10 Gb fiberoptic ethernet line. This server acts as a short-term buffer. The data may then be transferred to longer-term storage, and high-end image processing at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in Holyoke, MA via a dedicated fiber optic line. Harvard University has access to the 60,000 processor Odyssey cluster and 15 petabytes of data storage.