Ulrich Baxa, senior microscopist at the National Cryo Electron Microscopy Facility, has seen the facility grow to house two additional microscopes, including the FEI Glacios (white-and-black cabinet, left of image).

FREDERICK, Md. -- Ulrich Baxa, Ph.D., and his team are helping to move a microscope the size of a minivan.

The behemoth, a Titan Krios, is making the 29-mile trek from a Gaithersburg, Maryland, laboratory to its new home at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. It’s a highly-sensitive, $7 million device being relocated across a greater metropolitan area with some of the worst traffic in the United States.

This animation created with cryo-EM structures depicts the pathway of the CRISPR Cas9 enzyme as it cuts DNA for gene editing. Animation courtesy of Xing Zhu, Miljan Simonovic and Sriram Subramaniam.

FREDERICK, Md. -- CRISPR is one of the most widely used technologies in the nascent quest to edit the human genome, and the precision “instrument” that makes it so effective is Cas9, a programmable enzyme harnessed from bacterial cells that cuts DNA strands at specific targets and replaces one gene with another.