elitist at vt.edu elitist at vt.edu
Wed Nov 1 10:49:29 EST 1995

I am in need of a program that can track specimens submitted to an electron 
microscopy lab by investigators.  I DON'T need software for 3-D 
reconstruction, or anything like that; what I am after is something that will 
help us get out from under the blizzard of paper that follows each specimen 

PI's bring their stuff to the lab where it is assigned a log-in number in 
alphanumeric form:  e.g., "95-101A" would be the 101st specimen submitted in 
CY 1995, and this specimen would be the first of n sub-specimens.  This 
number follows the sample through all the stages of processing, and it is 
linked to the negative numbers of pictures taken, and the bills presented to 
the PI.  In essence we must be able to identify the sample and the stage it's 
in at any time; and to recover any associated information such as grid number, 
grid box number, negative numbers, other samples in the same batch, etc.

If anyone knows of such software, preferably one written for EM labs, please 
let me know.  We have funds available to purchase commercial products, and we 
are always willing to consider shareware as well, of course.

I've tried to have such a program written for us, but have always run up 
against the blank wall of programmers who have no concept of what an 
ultrastructure lab does and can't design a program that does what we want. 

Please don't tell us to use a database program.  We have tried this approach 
and it doesn't work for several reasons.  We even tried a programmer who tried 
using DBaseIV as a starting point and got nowhere.

I am CERTAIN that someone out there has developed such a program.  If anyone 
knows anything about it, please let me know.

Please contact me by e-mail at:

elitist at vt.edu

Please do NOT post replies directly to the net,  as I do not monitor this 


Dr. Thomas Caceci
Faculty Coordinator
Morphology Research Facility
Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

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