Nematodes are the most abundant animal on earth, and they live in virtually every ecological niche on earth. Parasitic species have a significant health and economic impact through the infection of crops, domestic animals, and humans. Therefore, we are working to unravel the chemical language used by nematodes, with the ultimate goals of better understanding the role of small molecules in regulating behavior and of developing new approaches to control nematode parasites.

Molecules that exhibit slow magnetic relaxation upon removal from a polarizing magnetic field are referred to as single-molecule magnets (SMMs). SMMs receive considerable attention owing to their potential utility in applications such as spin-based information storage. In these systems, the slow relaxation normally arises from the action of an easy-axis magnetic anisotropy, quantified by a negative axial zero-field splitting parameter, D < 0, on a high-spin ground state. Two separate EPR studies carried out in the DC field facility by users from UC Berkeley (chemistry) have identified compounds that undergo slow relaxation, even though the relevant magnetic ions possess easy-plane-type anisotropy (i.e. D > 0).

Biomedical researchers have a unique tool to investigate a variety of living and excised specimen with the MagLab’s 21.1 T 900-MHz ultra-widebore (105-mm) vertical magnet. However, there are challenges to performing research in a high-field vertical magnet, which have been addressed by a NHMFL-led team of international scientists working to make very high field or ultra high field MRI more flexible. This team has constructed a tunable sliding ring transmit/receive volume coil for 900-MHz hydrogen MRI that provides the uniformity and sensitivity for high resolution and functional imaging of living samples while accommodating unique excised samples to improve characterization and throughput. This new design incorporates the apparatus necessary for maintaining animals in a vertical position while providing remote tuning and sample flexibility beyond most available coils.

Each day at work, Long, tackles the twin duties of providing administrative leadership for a growing program, and her own scientific research.

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