Navigation Links
New strategy could lead to dose reduction in X-ray imaging

Athens, Ga. For more than a century, the use of X-rays has been a prime diagnostic tool when it comes to human health. As it turns out, X-rays also are a crucial component for studying and understanding molecules, and a new approach -- just published by researchers at the University of Georgia -- may dramatically improve what researchers can learn using the technique.

One of the primary ways scientists can understand molecules is to bombard their crystalline forms with X-ray beams. This allows a crystallographer to discover many things about the molecule, from the arrangement of atoms to the position of chemical bonds. Thus, the techniques of X-ray crystallography have been central to numerous important scientific discoveries in many fields.

Now, a team led by B.C. Wang, Ramsey-Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Structural Biology at UGA, has shown for the first time that by using multiple data sets, each under-exposed simultaneously, one can produce a composite data set that may give three to five times better signal levels than standard techniques for structural analysis. This new technique is particularly better than standard procedures when it comes to studying large molecules, many of which are important in drug development and other important processes.

"When compared to crystals of small molecules, macromolecular crystals diffract X-rays poorly and usually tend to have a much shorter lifetime in the X-ray beam," said Wang. "So a macromolecular crystal can only withstand a certain amount of X-ray dose before it is destroyed as a result of radiation damage. Obtaining accurate and complete diffraction data sets of these crystals is very important."

Strikingly, the new procedure used by the Wang team could be adapted for use with X-ray techniques in studying human health. This could eventually mean that doctors utilizing it could get more information on a patient while using a lower X-ray dose. That, however, is still in the future.

The research, just published in the online edition of the journal Foundations of Crystallography, could lead to a much more rapid acquisition of knowledge about molecules, Wang said. Authors of the paper, in addition to Wang, include from the Wang lab Lirong Chen, Hua Zhang, Weihong Zhou and Zheng-Qing Fu. Collaborators from the Institute of Biophysics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing include Zhi-Jie Liu, Dong Wu and Wei Ding. Wang is a member of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at UGA.

X-ray diffraction data on crystals have been steadily improving over the past few decades, but the study of large molecules has continued to present sometimes-intractable problems. One always present issue is that while X-rays can reveal much about molecule, the technique also destroys the molecules, just as too much radiation can be lethal in humans. So the question has persisted: How can we get the same quality of data using a lower amount of total X-ray radiation than what we use now to study molecules?

Wang and his team had the idea of taking what might be called "slices" of radiation dosage to produce multiple scans. The total information from these combined multiple "weaker" scans might then actually surpass what could be found with normal X-ray crystallography with a single stronger scan. In order to see if this actually worked, Wang and his collaborators came up with a theoretical prediction for the strategy and then tested it using six bovine insulin crystals.

"The calculations from the diffraction data of these six insulin crystals collected using two different data-collection systems showed that the data is much better with the MDS strategy than with the regular single-path strategy," said Wang.

While the new technique could one day be important in breakthroughs in medicine and human health, the immediate impact is that it will allow researchers to study large molecules with greater depth and understanding by avoiding the use of too much X-ray radiation that would destroy the sample.

Contact: B.C. Wang
University of Georgia

Related biology news :

1. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeers cooling strategy revealed
2. Powerful antibody-based strategy suggests a new therapeutic approach to diabetes and obesity
3. BGI develops new strategy to uncover structural variations of human genomes
4. Bacterial attack strategy uses special delivery of toxic proteins
5. Purdue biologists identify new strategy used by bacteria during infection
6. Study suggests new strategy to prevent infertility, birth defects
7. Nuclear waste requires cradle-to-grave strategy
8. U.S. Biomedical Leaders Present a New National Device Innovation Strategy Based on "Value-driven Engineering"
9. Global strategy for plant conservation conference to take place at the Missouri Botanical Garden
10. New strategy to combat cystitis
11. Study finds greenhouse gas reduction strategy may be safe for soil animals
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... YORK , Oct. 29, 2015 ... technology, announced a partnership with 2XU, a global ... to deliver a smart hat with advanced bio-sensing ... and other athletes to monitor key biometrics to ... the strategic partnership, the two companies will bring together ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... PUNE, India , October 26, ... --> --> ... Forecasts 2015 to 2021 as well ... Analysis 2015-2019 research reports to its ... . ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... and GOLETA, California , October ... conference, BIOPAC and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile ... tracking data captured during interactive real-world tasks ... play integration of their established wearable solutions for eye ... synchronize gaze behavior captured with SMI Eye Tracking ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a ... Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, ... Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. ... York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier ... models, has promoted Melanie Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. , ... the management team and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QC , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic ... "Corporation") announced today that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President ... corporate presentation at the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th ... Palace Hotel, on December 1-2, 2015. st ... available for one-on-one meetings throughout the day. The presentation will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 HemoShear ... on discovering drugs for metabolic disorders, announced today ... to its Board of Directors (BOD). Mr. Watkins ... of Human Genome Sciences (HGS), and also served ... Jim Powers , Chairman and CEO ...
Breaking Biology Technology: