I'm unclear on why the word STOMP in Google images provides tons of pictures as awesome as whatever is going on above. However, if you're going to go jumping through the air with trashcan lid shields, I'm going to find a way to circulate it. I think this may contribute to the short halflife of my friends on the Fakebook thing.
What was I talking about? How about a way to look at things under a microscope and then BOOM crosslink them while you're looking at them? Cooler than trashcan lid dance fighting? Yo, I'm not even done. What if your microscope was smart enough that it went around and found the things you wanted to look at and then crosslinked them itself and then emailed you when it was done?
Nope. You can read about it here!
First off — STOMP isn't new. If you had 48 straight hours to spend behind the lenses of a microscope in a dark room and you could code patches in multiple languages — oh — and could synthesize your own special crosslinker — you could totally STOMP.
Since that is stupid on 14 levels, let's forget the first thing ever existed and just call this one STOMP.
This is how it works —
What do you need for STOMP now?
A commercial crosslinker.
A commercial microscope
A commercial image processing software
Okay — you still need a couple of patches, but it's all in the same language (Python) and it's easy enough that I could set it up. (It's all set up in a step-by-step walkthough here).
What do you get out of it? Just a way to crosslink (AND ENRICH — the crosslinker has biotin on it, that's what it's for, I think) what you're looking at under a microscope!!!
"That looks cool! What is it?" BOOM! Pull it down, digest it and figure it out.
That's neat, but what could you actually use it for? These authors use it for HOST-PATHOGEN INTERACTIONS!! Yo, where my malaria people at?!?! How awesome would it be to look at the interface between Plasmodium and the red blood cell wall? What's the PFEMP1 really doing? The authors point out you could obviously use it for more than host pathogen stuff, but if I was gonna write a grant on this stuff….maybe I should delete this and start writing a grant instead….
Somewhere around you, possibly within walking distance, depending on the relative funding level and decision making skills of your administrators is probably a big grey and orange box like the thing above. I'd be comfortable betting you $1.14 that it probably isn't doing anything right this second. This box is called a CyTOF and -- I swear -- it has all sorts of promise, but it's a bit of technology that is seeking a real application. And I'm going to jump on every paper I see that suggests we may have finally found it. Imagine that you're doing flow cytometry. You've tagged your cells with a couple of proteins and these proteins have a dye on them. The instrument measures the intensity of these dyes as the cells are sorted and you basically get single cell data on the intensity of these two proteins in each single cell. Now upgrade that idea and replace the dyes with protein tags that you can see with a mass spec. The cells get sorted, go through, get ion..