VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Proteomics researcher holding a multi-well plate for growing protein crystals for X-ray crystallog- raphy studies. This is part of an automated system that can grow crystals faster than conventional methods. A solution of the protein being studied is placed in 480 wells, each with different conditions (acidity & salt concentration, for example). Crystals grow in the wells with the best conditions (which are unknown at the outset). The crystals are tiny, but are suitable for crystallo- graphy using the Advanced Light Source synchrotron at Lawrence Berkeley Labs, USA. The protein's str- ucture is determined from the diffraction pattern produced as X-rays pass through a crystal of it.
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