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New materials, progress toward an HIV vaccine, and more at meeting of crystallographers

WASHINGTON D.C., July 1, 2013 New materials and potential new drug targets are just some of the discoveries featured this month at a major scientific meeting on the structure of molecules. More information on the conference program and press releases will be disseminated in mid-July.

The Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association (ACA) will be held July 20 24, 2013, at the Sheraton Waikiki Beach Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. Crystallography is the science devoted to exploring the arrangement of atoms in regular crystalline solids and in complicated molecules. Scientists will present research spanning medicine, genomics, material science, structural biology, and other diverse disciplines.

Preliminary meeting highlights appear below. For more information, reporters can contact Catherine Meyers (, 301-209-3088).

Visualizing the HIV vs. Immune System Arms Race

"Highly effective neutralizing antibodies have been isolated from about two dozen HIV-1 infected individuals.... We followed the development of a CD4-binding site antibody, CH103, in a donor from time of infection...."

Abstract 01.02.20:

Materials that Expand Under Pressure

"Negative linear compressibility (NCL) is a rare but desirable property whereby a material's crystal structure actually expands in one direction against increasing hydrostatic pressure.... In zinc(II) dicyanoaurate (I) so-called "giant" NLC is observed for the first time with the crystal structure expanding more than 10 percent over 1.8 GPa...."

Abstract 13.06.8:

Bacteria in the Gut Targeted to Eliminate Some Negative Drug Reactions

"Our goal is to improve both patient tolerance and overall drug efficacy by using structural and chemical biology to potently target an intestinal microbial enzyme."

Abstract 13.01.3:

Facebook for Minerals

"CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in Jan 2013 announced to employ graph-search where the entire Facebook is expressed as a graph of infinitely extensible collection of documents.... We have been developing rule-based approaches to create such indexes for a warehouse of chemical structures and biomedical data."

Abstract 03.01.11:

Photosynthetic Proteins Caught in Action

"We believe that we have visualized the protein-quake that occurs as a large amount of energy is absorbed by a light-driven protein and this energy is rapidly dissipated into the surrounding solvent before the protein unfolds."

Abstract 11.03.10:

Anti-Plague Drugs

"Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of bubonic plague and a potential bioweapons agent, requires a highly active protein tyrosine phosphatase, YopH, for pathogenicity. We have identified a potent and non-promiscuous inhibitor with good selectivity against a panel of phosphatases that exhibits significant inhibition of intracellular Y. pestis replication."

Abstract 12.02.13:

New Ways to Fight Superbugs

"Gram negative bacteria (GNB) are becoming increasingly resistant to our current arsenal of antibiotics with new strains of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria arising with greater frequency. A genomic screen for new antibiotics targets in the MDR GNB Acinetobacter baumannii was performed and yielded several unrecognized or underexploited targets."

Abstract 13.01.37:

Pressure Makes New Materials

"Two different approaches, in particular, have been successful in the creation of new compounds: direct synthesis under elevated pressure and temperature, and chemical transformation of a compound through the use of pressure."

Abstract 13.15.3:

Green Chemistry

"Our research group is using solid-state reactions to develop general methodologies for solvent-free and low-energy synthesis."

Abstract 13.15.6:


Contact: Catherine Meyers
American Institute of Physics

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