Multi-User Molecular and Microbiological Facilities
In the north wing of the biology department, several adjoining rooms serve as a core resource for the full-spectrum of technologies needed in molecular biology and microbiology. These include the following instruments in select categories:
Thermal Cyclers and associated PCR systems
- Bio-Rad C1000 Touch and CFX96 Optics Module Real-Time qPCR System (96 well capacity; purchased June 2018)
- Bio-Rad MiniOpticon Real-Time PCR Detection System (48 well capacity; purchased April 2010)
- Bio-Rad DNA Engine Dyad Peltier Thermal Cycler (high throughput – 2 x 96 well capacity; purchased April 2008)
- Perkin Elmer GeneAmp 2400 PCR system (24 well, hot bonnet)
- Mystaire MY-PCR32 PCR clean hood with UV light and laminar flow (for preparing qPCR reactions; purchased April 2019)
- Beckman Coulter Avanti JE high speed refrigerated centrifuge & JA-17 fixed angle rotor (max. speed 17,000 rpm; max. rcf 39,800 x g)
- Eppendorf 5810R table-top refrigerated centrifuge with swing-bucket rotor and adapters for multiwell plates, 15ml tubes, and 50ml tubes
- Thermo-Sorvall Legend Micro17 microcentrifuges (two at room temperature, one in 4C refrigerator)
- Several small "quick spin" microcentrifuges
- Several top-loading digital balances and one analytical balance
- Numerous gel electrophoresis casting and running systems and power packs (for both agarose and PAGE-SDS gels)
- Numerous sets of single channel micropipettes (varying brands and capacities) and electronic pipette pumps for serological pipettes
Imaging and Spectrophotometers
- Bio-Rad ChemiDoc MP multi-channel imager for gels and blots with fluorescence capability (purchased March 2019)
- BioTek Synergy H1 hybrid multi-mode plate reader with accessory Take3 plate (UV-Vis, fluorescence & luminescence; purchased May 2019)
- Thermo Scientific NanoDrop 2000c UV-Vis spectrophotometer (purchased 2015)
- Invitrogen Qubit 3.0 Flurometer for nucleic acid and protein quantification (purchased 2016)
- Fisher Scientific Isotemp 4C glass double-door chromatography refrigerator (has internal auxiliary outlets and ports for external electrical connections; purchased 2011)
- ThermoFisher RLE60086D ultra-low temperature (-80C) upright freezer (purchased June 2018)
- Revco ULT1090-5-D34 ultra-low temperature (-80C) chest freezer
- Several low temperature (-20C) upright freezers
- Several refrigerators with top frost-free freezers
Incubators, Growth Chambers & Shakers
- Two Percival DR36NLC8 Drosophilla (fruit fly) programmable growth chambers (purchased in 2018 and 2019)
- Several small and large capacity incubators for microbiological use
- Eppendorf / New Brunswick Excella E-25 floor incubator-shaker
- Thermo Scientific MaxQ 3000 programmable platform shaker
- Lab Line thermal platform rocker
- Several laboratory ovens
- Market Forge Sterilematic electric boiler autoclave
- Hirayama portable top-load autoclave
Ice and Purified Water
- Hoshizaki flaked ice machine
- Sartorius Arium Mini ultrapure Type 1 water system with UV (5L capacity; purchased June 2018)
- Nalco/Crossbow DI Express water deionizer system (2 faucet units and 1 large multi-filter system feeding ice maker and Arium Mini)
Aside from numerous sets of student-use stereoscopic and compound light microscopes, there are three instructor camera-equipped stereo and compound microscopes in select teaching labs. There are two research grade stereo microscopes equipped with digital cameras and a Nikon Eclipse TS100 inverted phase contrast microscope with fluorescence (in the Tissue Culture Lab). This microscope is equipped with a Photometrics Cool SNAP EX digital camera. Along with the departments of Geosciencies and Chemistry, the Biology Department shares use of a Fluorescent Microscope Lab located in a dark room. The Leica DM4000B-LED microscope with EL6000 external light source and three filters is also equipped with a Leica DFC 450C digital camera (all purchased in 2014).
Tissue Culture Facility
A 200 sq foot room on the third floor of Marram Hall contains all the necessary equipment to perform mammalian tissue and cell culture.
- Baker Company Biogard B40A-112 biological safety cabinet (Class II, Type A; with vertical laminar flow and UV)
- Oil suction pump (central vacuum is not available)
- Two Panasonic MCO-18A1C humidified Carbon Dioxide incubators
- Taylor-Wharton 35L liquid Nitrogen storage dewar for cell storage
- Standing water bath
A large greenhouse is found at the south end of the third floor of Marram Hall and is 36’ x 26’ with ceiling from 28’(east side) sloping up to 35’ (west side) tall. The greenhouse contains a tropical plant collection including over 300 Anthurium and Syngonium species as well as many other flowering plants. Each year a number of specimens are added from an extensive Missouri Botanical Garden collection. The living collections are used for both teaching and research. Student use of the plants for genetic and systematic study is strongly encouraged.
Other Biology Facilities
The Biology Department has several specimen teaching collections for multiple organismal groups. The vascular plant and insect collections are the largest, but other invertebrate groups are well represented as are some vertebrate skeletons and skulls. Aside from a small teaching collection of fungi, the department houses the research fungal collections of Dr. Avis and past students in a separate fungarium within a room inside the north suite of Marram Hall 303.
There also is a large microscope slide collection encompassing subjects of microbiological interest, parasites, plant and animal cells, histology, diseases, and development. This collection, as well as the macro-collections mentioned above are in the slow process of being catalogued and organized by the department's Instrumentation Technician.
The Department has an extensive collection of human anatomy models housed in the Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory in the center of the 3rd floor of Marram Hall. There are multiple copies of each model covering all the major organs and systems of the human body. In addition there are skeletal specimens and mammal preserved specimen material available for dissection.
The Biology Department is the home of the Northwest Indiana Restoration Monitoring Inventory (NIRMI) and its associated collections, field instrumentation, tools, and databases. NIRMI has space in the first floor opposite the shared Fluorescent Microscope Lab. The NIRMI reference herbarium (collection of dried pressed plant specimens) is located in the outer area of the lab. In the main lab there is a quality stereoscope with microscale objective, two PC computers, a multi-use printer/copier, field gear (meter sticks, 50m meter tapes, dbh tapes, compasses, Nikon range finders, a Canon PowerShot G12 digital camera with tripod, an Ashtech GNSS GPS receiver and antenna), a library of regional floras and associated plant identification books, maps, site reports, and the NIRMI archives.
On-Campus Prairie and Wetland Restoration Site
An 11 acre (5 ha) ecosystem restoration is adjacent to the north side of campus along the southern edge of a wetland of the Little Calumet River. The Little Calumet River Prairie and Wetlands Nature Preserve started with only about 10 plant species after an Army Corps of Engineers flood berm construction. Under the diligent guidance and tireless efforts of Associate Professor Spencer Cortwright, the current plant species richness has increased to over 150 species with at least 100 native vascular plant species. The site is managed and maintained by numerous native plantings, seed collection and propagation, herbicide application, and controlled burns (typically conducted in the spring) by Dr. Corwright and IUN students. For the most recent information about the preserve, read the latest edition of Nature News.
Other IU Northwest Campus Facilities Available to Biology Students and Faculty
Individual faculty members in the Biology Department also have specialized equipment used for their personal research. Students working in the faculty lab learn to use these pieces of equipment and other faculty are often given permission to share some of those items on a case by case basis.
The other departments housed within Marram Hall, namely Geosciences and Chemistry-Biochemistry-Physics, allow faculty and students to use some of their resources and instrumentation in collaboration with their faculty. In addition, some faculty at the Indiana University School of Medicine housed on campus collaborate with faculty and take on students to assist and learn in their research.