Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





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

Efficiency of Nanodrug Containing Antibiotics in Treatment of Infectious Diseases Evaluated August 31st, 2015

Seeing quantum motion August 30th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Imaging

Nanolab Technologies LEAPS Forward with High-Performance Analysis Services to the World: Nanolab Orders Advanced Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP®) Microscope from CAMECA Unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division August 27th, 2015

50 Years of Scanning Electron Microscopy from ZEISS: ZEISS celebrates the birth of the first commercial scanning electron microscope in 1965 August 26th, 2015

Announcing Oxford Instruments and School of Physics signing a Memorandum of Understanding August 26th, 2015

Kwansei Gakuin University in Hyogo, Japan, uses Raman microscopy to study crystallographic defects in silicon carbide wafers August 25th, 2015

Discoveries

Efficiency of Nanodrug Containing Antibiotics in Treatment of Infectious Diseases Evaluated August 31st, 2015

Seeing quantum motion August 30th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Announcements

Efficiency of Nanodrug Containing Antibiotics in Treatment of Infectious Diseases Evaluated August 31st, 2015

Seeing quantum motion August 30th, 2015

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Researchers use DNA 'clews' to shuttle CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells August 30th, 2015

Tools

Nanolab Technologies LEAPS Forward with High-Performance Analysis Services to the World: Nanolab Orders Advanced Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP®) Microscope from CAMECA Unit of AMETEK Materials Analysis Division August 27th, 2015

Nanometrics to Participate in the Citi 2015 Global Technology Conference August 26th, 2015

50 Years of Scanning Electron Microscopy from ZEISS: ZEISS celebrates the birth of the first commercial scanning electron microscope in 1965 August 26th, 2015

Announcing Oxford Instruments and School of Physics signing a Memorandum of Understanding August 26th, 2015

Events/Classes

Nanometrics to Participate in the Citi 2015 Global Technology Conference August 26th, 2015

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Nanotechnology that will impact the Security & Defense sectors to be discussed at NanoSD2015 conference August 25th, 2015

Abstract Submission Deadline for “2nd International Conference on Infectious Diseases & Nanomedicine (December 15-18, 2015, Kathmandu, NEPAL)” has been extended to Sept 15. August 20th, 2015

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Glitter from silver lights up Alzheimer's dark secrets August 25th, 2015

Quantum diffraction at a breath of nothing: Physicists build stable diffraction structure in atomically thin graphene August 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology that will impact the Security & Defense sectors to be discussed at NanoSD2015 conference August 25th, 2015

A little light interaction leaves quantum physicists beaming August 25th, 2015

Research partnerships

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Announcing Oxford Instruments and School of Physics signing a Memorandum of Understanding August 26th, 2015

Researchers combine disciplines, computational programs to determine atomic structure August 26th, 2015

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic