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More effective method of imaging proteins
Date:3/6/2012

h faster," says Linda Johansson. "We hope that it'll become the standard over the next few years. X-ray free-electron laser facilities are currently under construction in Switzerland, Japan and Germany."

365,000 images

Carried out by researchers from Sweden, Germany and the US, the study investigated a membrane protein from a type of bacterium that lives off sunlight. It is important to investigate membrane proteins as they transport substances through the cell membrane and thus take care of communication with the cell's surroundings and other cells.

"We've managed to create a model of how this protein looks," she says. "The next step is to make films where we can look at the various functions of the protein, for example how it moves during photosynthesis."

A key discovery was that far fewer images are needed to map the protein than previously believed. Using a free-electron laser it is possible to produce around 60 images a second, which meant that the team had over 365,000 images at its disposal. However, just 265 imageswere needed to create a three-dimensional model of the protein.


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Contact: Linda Johansson
linda.johansson@chem.gu.se
031-786-3244
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

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