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Experiment reaches biology milestone with hard X-ray laser
Date:2/2/2011

rs from ASU's Department of Physics include Uwe Weierstall, a research professor; Kevin E. Schmidt, professor; Richard A. Kirian, doctoral student; and Xiaoyu Wang, doctoral student. Members of the team from ASU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry include Mark S. Hunter, doctoral student; and faculty research associates Ingo Grotjohann and Raimund Fromme.

"Richard Kirian and Mark Hunter have worked for several years on the femtosecond crystallography project and are exemplars of outstanding graduate students at ASU, working in an interdisciplinary field," said Petra Fromme. "Mark has grown all the photosystem I crystals for the experiments and developed new methods and technology for growth and biophysical characterization of protein nanocrystals in his PhD studies and Richard has developed new methods for evaluation and analysis of nanocrystallography data in his PhD studies."

Heading up the international research effort and lead author on the nanocrystallography paper was Henry N. Chapman, DESY, Germany. Among others, the research team from more than 20 institutions included Janos Hajdu, M. Marvin Seibert, Tomas Ekeberg and Filipe R.N.C. Maia, Uppsala University, Sweden. Results of the second experiment performed the same week at SLAC are reported in the Nature paper "Single mimivirus particles intercepted and imaged with an X-ray laser."

"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."

Research attracts funding

Spence is the
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Contact: Carol Hughes
carol.hughes@asu.edu
480-965-6375
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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