New Crystallography Technique for Observing the Working of Molecules

Published By : 06 Oct 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

Researchers at the University of Leeds have developed a new crystallography technique which is a new way of observe the working of molecules. Crystallography is a technique that is used by researchers to observe the changes that take place within the structure of molecules. A new method of carrying out the time-resolved crystallography has been described in a research paper published in a renowned journal.

Rapid time-resolved crystallography has been possible, but it requires advanced instrumentation that is present only at three sites globally. Only a few proteins could be studied via the traditional technique. 

The new technique that has been developed will enable researchers all across the globe to conduct dynamic crystallography and will also give a significant boost in the research area that deals with evaluating and analyzing the working of molecules. This also involves the development of new drugs or smart materials. The very basis for developing effective medicines with fewer side effects is, understanding the connection between dynamics and structure. 

X-rays get fired into crystallized molecules via conventional X-ray crystallography. This produces a certain image that enables researchers to figure out the atomic structure of the molecules. However, the main issue is that the image thus created is the average of all the molecules in the crystal and the motion of the molecules during the time of an experiment.

According to the lead researcher of the project, if the working of molecular structures is to be observed and understood, a static picture is of limited use. 

In the current method, the scientists synchronize a molecular set in an identical state and then activate them. During this, the scientists take crystallographic snapshot of the molecular structure after a certain time. After doing this, the researchers again have to conduct the entire experiment once again.
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