10-ton magnet installed at IU biochemistry lab

July 17, 2008 8:03:29 AM PDT
A crane has lifted a 10-ton magnet into the basement of Indiana University's Simon Hall, were scientists will use it to produce high-resolution images of DNA and other compounds. Installation of the nearly $2 million magnet took about three hours Wednesday. Crews had to cover a portion of the street on the Bloomington campus with steel plates to protect underground tunnels as the heavy magnet was trucked in.

Senior scientist Doug Brown says the powerful magnet will aid biochemists in studying proteins to help design new drugs.

The magnet, which looks like a giant steel Thermos bottle, consists of three chambers and will be filled with liquid nitrogen and liquid helium.