Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New X-ray Sources Speed Protein Crystallography

Date:
February 17, 2004
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Thirty years ago the determination of a protein structure required years of effort and typically was sufficient for a Ph.D. thesis. Today, due to advances in synchrotron X-ray sources and detectors, protein crystal structures can be calculated in just hours.

SEATTLE -- Thirty years ago the determination of a protein structure required years of effort and typically was sufficient for a Ph.D. thesis. Today, due to advances in synchrotron X-ray sources and detectors, protein crystal structures can be calculated in just hours, "enabling many types of studies that were previously inconceivable," according to a leading researcher at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

Sol Gruner, a Cornell physics professor and an expert in designing and building fast, large-area X-ray imaging detectors, says that high-powered synchrotron X-ray sources and advanced detectors have been largely responsible for the progress in calculating protein structures. "The biotechnological revolution of the last two decades is built upon the twin pillars of protein structure determination and genetic engineering," he says.

Indeed, says Gruner, "Synchrotron X-radiation has become an enormously powerful tool throughout science and technology."

Gruner presented an overview of these advances today (Feb. 16) in a talk, "Future X-ray Sources and Detector Technologies," at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Seattle. His talk was part of a symposium, "Synchrotron Radiation as a Frontier Multidisciplinary Scientific Tool," organized by Ernest Fontes, assistant director of the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS), Doon Gibbs of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Keith Hodgson of Stanford University/Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).

Synchrotron radiation is emitted when highly energetic electrons are deflected by magnetic fields. All existing synchrotron X-ray facilities are based on an accelerator physics technology called the storage ring. In such a ring, bunches of electrons are kept in a roughly circular orbit by magnetic deflecting and focusing structures. At Cornell, the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR) is the X-ray source for CHESS. Usage of synchrotron radiation has grown steadily over the past three decades as synchrotron source, X-ray optics and detector technology have steadily advanced. Gruner, who is director of CHESS, explained how novel technologies now being developed will couple with developing semiconductor X-ray detectors to open new avenues of scientific exploration.

One such new technology, which promises to remove many of the present limitations of existing storage ring X-ray sources, is based on the use of a superconducting linear accelerator (or linac) to continuously accelerate and recover the energy from an electron beam. This device, called an Energy Recovery Linac (ERL), will be able to produce X-ray beams of unprecedented brilliance and small size. Gruner is the principal investigator on a proposal to the NSF to build an ERL prototype, based on collaborative designs between Cornell and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, Va.

Another future source technology, also based on linacs, is the X-ray Free Electron Laser, or XFEL. An XFEL is slated for construction at SLAC. ERL and XFEL sources, when combined with evolving solid-state X-ray detectors, Gruner said, will allow scientists to examine the structure of matter in ways previously impossible.

"This is a historically opportune time to acknowledge and celebrate the multidisciplinary nature of synchrotron radiation and discuss, in open forum, our collective views and needs for future outstanding X-ray facilities," Gruner noted.

###

Related Web Sites:

CHESS: http://www.CHESS.cornell.edu/

CESR: http://w4.lns.cornell.edu/public/CESR/

SLAC: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "New X-ray Sources Speed Protein Crystallography." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040217073718.htm>.
Cornell University. (2004, February 17). New X-ray Sources Speed Protein Crystallography. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040217073718.htm
Cornell University. "New X-ray Sources Speed Protein Crystallography." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040217073718.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins