September Newsletter: scholarships, meetings, lasers, cell counting, and the results from our annual satisfaction survey

The autumn equinox is approaching (23rd Sept) and so is the traditional Harvest Festival where we give thanks to all the great science we have been part of during the past year. The list of publications using the facility can be found here. We know there are more, because you are brilliant, so please fill in the gaps by telling us about yours.

This month we will be discussing scholarships, meetings, lasers, cell counting, and the results from our annual satisfaction survey.

Marylou Ingram Scholar Program

Marylou Ingram Scholars

The ISAC Marylou Ingram Scholars Program is a five-year career development program designed to enhance the scientific and leadership experiences of research leaders in the field of cytometry.
It provides leadership training, mentorship, presentation opportunities, membership to the Society, a subscription to Cytometry Part A, complimentary registration and partial travel funds to attend the annual CYTO conferences, and other valuable professional development activities.
Applications to the 2019-2023 program are being accepted until 30th October 2018.
Go to the ISAC website for more information.

News Bites

FT2 screen trial: For the next month, we will trial having the FT2 screens in portrait orientation. Let us know what you think using the feedback form on the bench.

MACC meeting: There will be a regional cytometry meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 18th Sept at CIMR. See the MACC website for details. Everyone is welcome (if you analyse single cells).

FCS Express: The trial of FCSExpress is ongoing and it has been well received. Email us if you would like to use the software for yourself. See FCSExpress’ features on YouTube.

RA day: There will be a research assistant career day held at Sanger on Thursday 13th Sept. Work out where you want to be in 5 years and how to get there. See Helix for more details (GRL only).

Coherent Connection

What do you do if you cannot visualise both the positive and negative populations on the same plot? You might need to titrate your antibodies or reporter protein. If this is not possible you could reduce the laser power of the instrument. On both Fortessa’s we have software called Coherent Connection installed which allow this. If you think you may need to do this let us know and we will show you how.
BE WARNED that if you do use it you MUST restore the laser power to the default (full power) settings after your experiment.

Volumetric Cell Counting

The Cytoflex has an awesome feature: volumetric cell counting. The Cytoflex aspirates sample using a peristaltic pump which means that it knows exactly what volume it has taken. This is recorded in the fcs file meaning that not only does CytExpert tell you the cell concentration, but you can work it out yourself using simple maths: event count divided by volume ($VOL keyword).
It is much better then using counting beads on the other cytometers or looking down a microscope and it is more flexible then dedicated counters as you can work out the concentration of specific cell types using fluorescent antibodies.

Survey Results

In March we asked for your opinion of the facility and today you can see the results. The results are found in a Tableau Story (GRL only)
The headline figures are that 38 of you responded of which 74% said we provide a 5 out of 5 service. You find our new calendar system easy to use and if you could have more sort capacity, it would be in the evening.
We have read all the comments and have enacted many of them already. You can see the service status of the instruments on Confluence, we have advertised our phone numbers in the lab and we are planning an advanced flow cytometry course for users during the autumn.
If you disagree or have suggestions please let us know.

p.s. 76% of users find the newsletter interesting 😀

Planned Downtime and Past Incidents

Every Monday 10am-11am, all staff sorters, staff meeting
Every Tue morning both Sony’s are cleaned
4-5th Sept all day, One staff sorter, training course
10-11th Sept all day, One staff sorter, training course
12th Sept morning, all staff sorters, Cell Ops meeting
21st Sept, two staff sorters, staff training

Fortessa 2 went down one evening due to a power failure. A device was put into a socket that tripped the electric circuit. Unfortunately the UPS for FT2 was out of action at the time. All the other analysers are protected by a UPS. The UPS is due to be repaired and an engineer visited to reset the circuit.
Both Sony’s went down this month with faulty waste aspirators. They were fixed by the Sony engineer and Sony replaced the waste pump on Sony 1.

Flow Cytometry: The original single cell technology