Navigation Links
Scientists learn how to 'out run damage' with imaging technique

VANCOUVER, CANADA - Over the decades X-ray crystallography has been fundamental in the development of many scientific fields. The method has revealed the structure and function of many biological molecules, including vitamins, drugs, proteins and nucleic acids such as DNA. However, in order to obtain good data, large single crystals are required. These are often nearly impossible to grow. There also is the problem that X-rays damage delicate biological samples.

"From the beginning, the resolution of images recorded by biologists has been limited by damage due to the radiation used," said physicist John C. H. Spence, a Regents' Professor in physics at Arizona State University. "But what happens if a pulse of imaging radiation is used that terminates before damage begins, yet contains sufficient photons to generate a useful scattering pattern?"

Indeed, results of such a method are being reported by Spence at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Spence presented his findings today (Feb. 17) during a special session on "Imaging and Controlling Molecular Dynamics with Ultrashort Laser Pulses."

Many in the scientific community didn't believe such a method could work. Yet, said Spence "The experiments of Henry Chapman's (University of California, Davis) group using lithographed structures and soft (i.e. long wavelength) X-rays had shown that if we could 'out-run the damage,' this might indeed be a useful path to damage-free imaging at atomic resolution. In my lab we were thinking about the data analysis, and building the hydrated protein-beam injector device, a bit like an ink-jet printer, to spray the molecules across an X-ray laser. This snap-shot method should eventually allow us to make movies of molecular machines at work."

Spence joined forces with Chapman and many collaborators to recently demonstrate serial snapshot femtosecond (10-15 of a second) diffraction (SFX) from nanocrystals using the world's first hard X-ray laser. The photosystem I (PSI) nanocrystals came from Professor Petra Fromme's lab in ASU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

"These are early days for femtosecond diffractive imaging," noted Spence, who provided the theory and much of the data analysis. "But first indications are that high-resolution data can now be obtained at the nanoscale by this method. If we can indeed 'outrun' the many radiation-damage processes in this way, it will open the way to future experiments on laser-excited samples, 3-D image reconstruction and a host of other experiments on fast imaging, all directed to the grand challenge of obtaining movies showing molecules at work."

Contact: jenny green
Arizona State University

Related biology technology :

1. Clemson scientists put a (nano) spring in their step
2. City of Hope Helps KGI Launch New Management Training Program for Scientists
3. University of Pennsylvania scientists move optical computing closer to reality
4. Scientists grow nanonets able to snare added energy transfer
5. The National Cancer Institute Joins the Global Community of Scientists Now Using BIOMARKERcenter From Thomson Reuters
6. Scientists peel away the mystery behind golds catalytic prowess
7. SACHEM Launches 2-D HPLC e-Learning Program : New e-Learning Program Teaches Scientists How to Better Analyze and Prove Product Purity Through Greater Sensitivity and Precision in Identification of Trace Components
8. Vermillion and Stanford Scientists Receive Best Research Award From the PAD Coalition
9. Brewing better beer: Scientists determine the genomic origins of lager yeasts
10. Tengion Scientists Publish Positive Preclinical Findings With Neo-Organ Demonstrating Long-term Durability and Growth With Skeletal Maturation
11. CU scientists create worlds thinnest balloon -- just one atom thick
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of ... team leaders met with OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf Association (USGA) ... USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award recognizes ... with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... biggest event of the year and one of the premier annual events for ... and ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led by its ... as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. , FPV ... embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have joined the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:10/27/2015)... YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 In ... major issues of concern for various industry verticals such ... is due to the growing demand for secure & ... in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, ... for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... innovator in modern authentication and a founding member of ... of its latest version of the Nok Nok™ S3 ... use standards-based authentication that supports existing and emerging methods ... is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications that require ...
(Date:10/22/2015)... 2015  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), a leading supplier ... third quarter ended September 30, 2015.  --> ... was $4.0 million, a decrease of 33% compared to $6.0 million ... quarter of 2015 was $2.2 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, ... the same period a year ago.  --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):