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New Technique Shocks Proteins Into Action

December 12, 2016

For a protein to carry out its job—whether it be replicating DNA, metabolizing fuel, transporting biomolecules, or sending cell signals—its amino acids have to move in certain ways. The patterns of these internal motions aren’t always well understood because the tools available to study them are limited.

A new technique, electric field-stimulated X-ray crystallography (EF-X), combines electric pulses with time-resolved X-ray crystallography to provide more comprehensive views of the ways proteins work. Electrical charges and dipoles are present in all proteins, and external electric fields can exert forces on them, causing atoms to move.

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Click here for paper abstract

In Situ Serial Laue Diffraction on a Microfluidic Crystallization Device

Journal of Applied Crystallography 47
November 18, 2014

Signal amplification and transduction in phytochrome photosensors

Takala et al, Nature 509, 245–248, 2014
May 8, 2014

Cell Death Versus Cell Survival Instructed by Supramolecular Cohesion of Nanostructures

Nature Communications 5, Article number: 3321
February 17, 2014