Scientific Highlights from Research Division "Biology and Chemistry" (BIO)

Scientific Highlights

23 December 2016

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A three-dimensional movie of structural changes in bacteriorhodopsin

Snapshots of bacteriorhodopsin
Bacteriorhodopsin is a membrane protein that harvests the energy content from light to transport protons out of the cell against a transmembrane potential. Nango et al. used timeresolved serial femtosecond crystallography at an x-ray free electron laser to provide 13 structural snapshots of the conformational changes that occur in the nanoseconds to milliseconds after photoactivation. These changes begin at the active site, propagate toward the extracellular side of the protein, and mediate internal protonation exchanges that achieve proton transport.

1 January 2016

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Determining the structures of nanocrystalline pharmaceuticals by electron diffraction

A new type of detector developed by Dr. van Genderen enables the structure determination of pharmaceutical compounds with electron diffraction at room temperature. The group concentrate on expanding this new technique to macromolecular compounds.