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Policies

Individuals desiring to use the Image Analysis Laboratory for research are expected to comply with the guidelines described below.

Requirements

An account number for each use of an instrument must be on file before the instrumentation is used.

Guidelines

  1. Sign up procedures for electron microscopy instrumentation

    Individuals may reserve electron microscopy equipment in person, by phone (979)845-9527, or by e-mail (rpayne@cvm.tamu.edu). Electron microscopy equipment may be scheduled for up to one week in advance beginning on Monday morning. The sign-up calendar is located in room B20. Users who fail to show up within a 15 minute grace period past the time for which they have reserved electron optical and support equipment will forfeit their scheduled equipment time. The forfeited period of time is available on a first-come, first-serve basis to other users. Persons interested in making use of such forfeited time are encouraged to first sign in on the scope log and then make necessary changes on the sign-up board. If any questions or problems are encountered or if any individuals are in doubt of their status, please contact Dr. Burghardt (979)862-4083. Individuals who repeatedly fail to show up for scheduled time will receive an initial written warning, and if the practice persists, will be billed for the scheduled time. These policies do not apply to the laser cytometry instruments.

  2. Sign Up Procedures for Fluorescence Instrumentation

    Fluorescence instruments may be operated by individual researchers who are trained and checked out by one of the facility staff for the particular application desired. Each researcher using fluorescence facilities is responsible for the design and analysis of his/her experiments. Core facility personnel may provide experimental design and data analysis support based on normal collaborative research agreements. All applications involving the Laser Cytometry are scheduled through Dr. Rola Barhoumi in person, by phone (979)458-1149, or by e-mail ( rmouneimne@cvm.tamu.edu ). Scheduling any fluorescence imaging equipment can be done up to, but not exceeding 8 weeks in advance. Other scheduling needs must be arranged with the Faculty Director. Researchers should not schedule more time than needed, as charges will be based on the scheduling log. Users must keep track of the amount of time the fluorescence facility is used each day. A user may cancel scheduled time without charge if the cancellation is done at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled time. Unscheduled and unused scheduled times will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are subject to normal fees. Schedules are subject to rearrangement by the Faculty Director when needed. Dye loading, cell manipulations, etc. will be performed in the adjoining cell culture facility following the rules and guidelines of the facility. Each researcher is responsible for their own cell culturing, dye loading, experimental procedures, and for providing disks for data storage. Any data left on the hard disk at the end of the week is subject to erasure.

  3. Equipment Checkout

    All new electron microscope and major equipment users will be required to demonstrate competency on the instrument they propose to operate. Investigators who have qualified on instruments elsewhere must be instructed in the use of the current equipment prior to checkout. If further training is required to demonstrate competency, scheduled sessions will be available and posted in the Image Analysis Laboratory. Individual operators must be able to assess the working condition of an instrument and they will be held responsible for informing Image Analysis Laboratory personnel if an instrument is not performing properly.

  4. Operator Responsibilities

    All microscopes will be maintained in a ready state by Image Analysis Laboratory staff. This ready state of the microscopes will permit individuals desiring such services to sign-up for instruments during the normal working week. Individuals failing to comply with Policies and Procedures will be subject to forfeiture of privileges.

  5. Equipment Billing

    Use of the instrumentation will require a user's fee that will be posted annually. Each instrument is intended to provide a specific function and therefore certain restrictions are stipulated for instruments. These limitations will be listed in the instrumentation instruction handouts that are available to Image Analysis Laboratory users.

  6. Technical Services

    Separate charges will be billed for technical staff-assisted projects outside the supporting departments. Technical services are limited primarily to microscope operation although certain types of specimen preparation are available for electron microscopy applications. Contact prints of micrographs are included in technical services charges. A Service Request form will be filled out by the individual requesting service and will include account information, project description and sample history.

  7. Billing

    All Image Analysis Laboratory users must have an account number on file prior to using the Laboratory. Forms for reporting account numbers are available through the staff. All instrument time must be logged in the appropriate place with the users name (not initials), department, account number, date, time in-out, time used and number of exposures, and comments regarding the condition of the microscope. Bills will be tabulated and mailed monthly, stating the status of your account.

  8. Supplies

    The electron beam hours (EBH) charge will include the following
    • Instrumentation
    • Film (EM-4489)
    • Photographic chemistry for film development
    • Use of ancillary equipment i.e., microtomes, knife makers, etc.
    • Digital scans of negatives.
    Items not supplied
    • Fixatives, buffers, embedding supplies and resins, alcohols, etc.
    • Grids, stubs, forceps, Reichert capsules, etc.
    • Glass strips for knives, dispo boats, etc.
    • Photographic paper, press on letters, art supplies, etc.
    • Carbon rods, platinum wire, tungsten wire, etc.
    • Optical disks, cuvettes, chamber slides, probes, etc.

  9. Safety

    All users of the Image Analysis Laboratory are responsible for the safe utilization of instrumentation. Electrical and chemical hazards, as well as hazards associated with the utilization of high-vacuum instruments exist. No biohazardous material may be brought into the laboratory unless procedures for their use and disposal have been approved and all members of the Image Analysis Laboratory are properly informed of potential hazards. A handbook of safety procedures and a Texas A&M University Hazardous Waste Disposal Manual is located at the entrance of the laboratory. Users of the Laboratory are obligated to use proper safety procedures, and are expected to both read and understand the contents of these documents. Material Data Safety Sheets are maintained on all chemicals used in the laboratory. Contact a staff member for manuals.

  10. Biosafety requirements and rules

    Selected rooms in the Image Analysis Laboratory have been approved as BL-2 laboratory space. In order to be able to bring the BL-2 material to the IAL, the IAL facility and room number MUST be listed in the investigator's IBC permit, in Section F, Agent use and Storage Locations. The investigator is required to send a copy of the IBC permit listing the relevant IAL laboratory room and the BL2 organisms, to rmouneimne@cvm.tamu.edu, before bringing the BL-2 samples. When using the BL-2 labs in the IAL, all users must follow the rules posted. This applies even to those users that do not work with samples requiring IBC permit.