How to Solve Protein Structures with an X-ray Laser

Professor John Helliwell has published an invited Perspective article in Science ‘How to Solve Protein Structures with an X-ray Laser’ Science 339 (2013) 146-147  DOI: 10.1126/science.1233209.

John Helliwell
Professor John Helliwell

Professor John Helliwell has published an invited Perspective article in Science How to Solve Protein Structures with an X-ray Laser’ Science 339 (2013) 146-147  DOI: 10.1126/science.1233209.

"x-ray lasers are set to enable protein structure determination of proteins that are difficult to crystallize. Getting next into the nanometer crystal–size range looks doable and exciting. The fact that the structure reported by the authors (Redecke et al 2013) may aid the discovery of drugs against sleeping sickness is an important added bonus."

Whilst the study featured in John's Science Perspective was done at the Linac Coherent Light Source 'LCLS' in Stanford USA, Europe is building the XFEL, due to come online in 2015.  The UK is not a partner although it was but then left the project, presumed for financial reasons. Currently the STFC is listed as a cooperating agency with its contribution of a large pixel detector. A recent meeting at The Wellcome Trust (November 2012) in London was held to discuss the possibility of UK taking part in an 'end station on an X-ray laser for protein nano crystallography'. This meeting was organised by John and Bill Hunter's former PhD student, Prof James Naismith, based at St Andrews University. 

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