Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Speed and power of X-ray laser helps unlock molecular mysteries: New nanocrystallography technique shines light on biomolecules in action

Abstract:
By outrunning a laser's path of destruction, an international research team has created 3D images of fragile but biologically important molecules inside protein nanocrystals. Using the Linac Coherence Light Source (LCLS), a powerful X-ray laser at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, Calif., the scientists fired femtosecond (one quadrillionth of a second) bursts of light at a stream of tumbling molecules, obliterating them as they pass, but not before capturing otherwise illusive images of their crystalline structures.

Speed and power of X-ray laser helps unlock molecular mysteries: New nanocrystallography technique shines light on biomolecules in action

College Park, MD | Posted on July 26th, 2012

An overview and early results of this new imaging technique will be presented at the 2012 meeting of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA), which takes place July 28 - Aug. 1 in Boston, Mass.

"These laser pulses are so brief that we are able to outrun the radiation's damaging effects," said John C.H. Spence of Arizona State University, one of more than 70 international researchers from institutions including SLAC; DESY, the German Electron Synchrotron; and the Max-Planck Institute in Heidelberg, Germany.

"Using this so-called 'diffract-then-destroy' approach, our research team recorded about a hundred scattering patterns per second from protein nanocrystals," said Spence. "This is an important step toward the making of movies of biomolecules at work."

In traditional crystallography, a beam of X-rays first interacts with a crystal and then appears on a photo-detector as diffraction spots of greater and lesser intensity. These patterns encode the density of electrons in the crystal, enabling scientists to determine the three-dimensional position of atoms, chemical bonds, and other information. To obtain this information, the crystal is frozen, to reduce radiation damage, and placed on a rotating mount and bombarded with X-rays as its orientation is changed. A scattering pattern is slowly built up and the 3D structure can eventually be deduced.

This traditional method of using frozen molecules, however, prevents observation of the molecules at work in their native liquid environment at room temperature.

To obtain images of these molecules in the more natural state, the researchers sent the protein nanocrystals streaming in a single-file micron-sized droplet beam (rather like an ink-jet printer) in vacuum across the X-ray beam, in a method developed at Arizona State University.

Next they fired incredibly brief bursts of X-ray laser light, about 100 times each second, at the molecules in the droplet beam, and detected the scattered X-ray patterns from each particle before the intensity of the beam blasted them apart. The researchers were able to combine these millions of snapshots to build up 3D models of the molecules with atomic-scale resolution.

One particular molecule that was studied this way was Photosystem 1-ferredoxin, which is the chemical powerhouse that drives photosynthesis. The molecules for this experiment were made in the laboratory of Arizona State University researcher Petra Fromme.

Photosystem 1 harnesses sunlight to split water to make the oxygen we breathe, absorb carbon dioxide, and produce sugars, which maintains our biosphere. These molecules were studied "in action" by exciting them with a pulse of green laser light (to mimic the effect of sunlight falling on a leaf) a few microseconds before taking their X-ray snapshot. Each snapshot then became one frame of a movie. By changing the delay between green pulse and X-ray pulse, the researchers could create a 3D movie of a biomolecule in action.

"Many other groups we are supporting now are applying the method to other proteins, such as enzymes, drug molecule targets, and imaging chemical reactions as they develop along the liquid jet," said Spence. "The important thing was to get atomic-resolution snapshot images from nanocrystals at room temperature without radiation damage."

A complete listing of the collaborating research institutions follows:

- Center for Free-Electron Laser Science, DESY, Hamburg, Germany
- Photon Science, DESY, Hamburg, Germany
- Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe
- Department of Physics, Arizona State University
- Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden
- Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biophysics, Göteborg University, Sweden
- Max Planck Advanced Study Group, Center for Free Electron Laser Science (CFEL), Hamburg, Germany
- Max-Planck-Institut für medizinische Forschung, Heidelberg, Germany
- PULSE Institute and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, Calif.
- LCLS, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
- CEA, Institut de Biologie et de Technologies de Saclay, France
- European XFEL GmbH, Hamburg, Germany
- Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, Calif.
- PNSensor GmbH, München, Germany
- Max-Planck-Institut Halbleiterlabor, München, Germany
- Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- University of Hamburg,
- Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany

This news release was prepared for the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2012 ACA MEETING

The ACA is the largest professional society for crystallography in the United States, and this is its main meeting. All scientific sessions, workshops, poster sessions, and events will be held at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, Mass.

ABOUT ACA

The American Crystallographic Association (ACA) was founded in 1949 through a merger of the American Society for X-Ray and Electron Diffraction (ASXRED) and the Crystallographic Society of America (CSA). The objective of the ACA is to promote interactions among scientists who study the structure of matter at atomic (or near atomic) resolution. These interactions will advance experimental and computational aspects of crystallography and diffraction. They will also promote the study of the arrangements of atoms and molecules in matter and the nature of the forces that both control and result from them.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Catherine Meyers

301-209-3088

Copyright © American Institute of Physics

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Main meeting website:

Meeting program:

Meeting abstracts:

Exhibits:

Related News Press

News and information

New Biological Nano-Fertilizers Presented in Iran as Appropriate Replacements for Chemical Fertilizers April 18th, 2015

Iranian Foodstuff, Agricultural Industries Welcome Nanotechnology Packaging Bags April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors: Company's Newest Director Brings Expertise in Commercial and Legal Matters Both in the United States and China; Joins on the Heels of Successful Business Development Trade Mission to China April 18th, 2015

Imaging

Combined effort for structural determination April 15th, 2015

JPK reports on the use of the NanoWizard® 3 AFM system at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem April 14th, 2015

Deben reports on the research of Dr Sunita Ho from UCSF using a CCT500 tensile stage to study the behaviour of dental materials April 14th, 2015

The Casiraghi Group, located at the University of Manchester's NanoScience and Spectroscopy Laboratory, use Raman in the study of graphene April 14th, 2015

Discoveries

Optical resonance-based biosensors designed for medical applications April 18th, 2015

Iranian Foodstuff, Agricultural Industries Welcome Nanotechnology Packaging Bags April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Protein Building Blocks for Nanosystems: Scientists develop method for producing bio-based materials with new properties April 17th, 2015

Announcements

New Biological Nano-Fertilizers Presented in Iran as Appropriate Replacements for Chemical Fertilizers April 18th, 2015

Iranian Foodstuff, Agricultural Industries Welcome Nanotechnology Packaging Bags April 18th, 2015

Nanocomposites Play Effective Role in Production of Smart Fibers April 18th, 2015

Dais Analytic Corporation Appoints Eliza Wang to Board of Directors: Company's Newest Director Brings Expertise in Commercial and Legal Matters Both in the United States and China; Joins on the Heels of Successful Business Development Trade Mission to China April 18th, 2015

Tools

Oxford Instruments commissions high field outsert magnet system for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory 32 Tesla magnet program April 17th, 2015

Lanthanide-Organic Framework Nanothermometers Prepared by Spray-Drying April 16th, 2015

Combined effort for structural determination April 15th, 2015

The Casiraghi Group, located at the University of Manchester's NanoScience and Spectroscopy Laboratory, use Raman in the study of graphene April 14th, 2015

Events/Classes

Long Island Capital Alliance Announces Participants for Brookhaven National Laboratory Technology Transfer Capital Forum on May 8: Keynote Speaker Dr. Doon Gibbs, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory April 16th, 2015

Promising future of quantum dots explored in conference: ‘20 Years of Quantum Dots at Los Alamos’ runs April 12-16 April 13th, 2015

To Conserve London's 300-Year-Old Masterpiece, Nanotech & Drones April 12th, 2015

Reducing energy usage with nano-coatings April 9th, 2015

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Protein Building Blocks for Nanosystems: Scientists develop method for producing bio-based materials with new properties April 17th, 2015

Light in a spin: Researchers demonstrate angular accelerating light April 15th, 2015

Graphene pushes the speed limit of light-to-electricity conversion: Researchers from ICFO, MIT and UC Riverside have been able to develop a graphene-based photodetector capable of converting absorbed light into an electrical voltage at ultrafast timescales April 14th, 2015

Scientists create invisible objects without metamaterial cloaking April 14th, 2015

Research partnerships

Beyond the lithium ion -- a significant step toward a better performing battery April 18th, 2015

Light in a spin: Researchers demonstrate angular accelerating light April 15th, 2015

Graphene pushes the speed limit of light-to-electricity conversion: Researchers from ICFO, MIT and UC Riverside have been able to develop a graphene-based photodetector capable of converting absorbed light into an electrical voltage at ultrafast timescales April 14th, 2015

Scientists create invisible objects without metamaterial cloaking April 14th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE