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All About Crystals: Tiny, Giant, from Mars, from Earth's Mantle, in Medicine and in Manufacturing

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some 2,500 scientists and experts from around the world will gather next month in Montreal for the largest international meeting of the year devoted to crystallography -- a discipline that draws researchers from fields as far flung as genomics and geology who help solve problems as diverse as designing new manufacturing processes to creating life-saving drugs.

This meeting comes at a special time because the United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014) to recognize the importance of the field to technology, modern society and humanity and to commemorate the centenary of X-ray diffraction as well as a 400-year-old study of ice crystal by astronomer Johannes Kepler.

The meeting in Montreal is a cornerstone of the yearlong IYCr2014 celebration, and it will showcase U.N.-backed efforts to foster international collaboration between scientists worldwide, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It will also feature many renowned scientists, including Nobel-laureate Dan Shechtman, who will deliver a series of public lectures on crystals at McGill University.


Listed below is a small selection of the 2,000 or so talks, posters and other presentations at the meeting. To obtain more information on any of these topics, you can search the meeting program for the presentation numbers shown below at or contact Jason Socrates Bardi at 240-535-4954 or

- JUMPING CRYSTALS: They Move Upon Phase Change and Could be Useful in Devices
Presentation #MS67.O04, "Control of a thermosalient phase transition by solid solutions" by Elisa Nauha, Matteo Lusi and Pance Naumov, New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

- CRYSTALLOGRAPHY ON MARS: Exploring Martian Minerals
Plenary Lecture: The First X-ray Powder Diffraction Measurements on Mars

- GIANT CRYSTALS: Taller than a Human
IYCr Film Presentation: The Mystery of the Giant Crystals.
Presented by Professor Juan Manuel Garcia-Ruiz, National Research Council of Spain and the University of Granada

- COMBATTING DRUG RESISTANCE: Lessons from the viral proteases of HIV and HCV
Presentation #MS05.O01, "To reduce the likelihood of drug resistance, a detailed understanding of the drug target's structure and function is necessary" by C. Schiffer, UMass Medical School, USA.

- CRYSTALS IN CLEANING PRODUCTS: Stabilizing Peroxides with Supramolecular Approaches
Presentation #MS43.P09.A433 (C644), "Stabilising peroxyacids in niche microenvironments" by D. Cruickshank and C. Wilson, University of Bath, United Kingdom.

- DRUG DELIVERY: Increasing Drug Delivery Options Through Crystal Engineering
Presentation #MS67.O03, "Trapping liquid drugs inside crystals" by Alessia Bacchi, Davide Capucci, Paolo Pelagatti, University of Parma, Italy.

- GREEN CHEMISTRY: Cleaner, Solvent-free Reactions for Mineral Separation
Presentation #MS67.O01, "Solid-state assembly of metal-organic architectures by Tomislav Friscic, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

- EXOTIC MATERIALS: From the Earth's Mantle, Deep Underground, to Commercial Electronics
Presentation #KN06, "The World of Perovskites: Phase Transitions and Exotic Properties" by Dhananjai Pandey, Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi,India.

- VACCINE DEVELOPMENT: Broad Neutralization Of Viral Pathogens
Presentation #MS16.O06, "Designing effective vaccines for HIV, HCV and influenza" by I. Wilson, The Scripps Research Institute, USA.

- FLEXIBLE CRYSTALS: A Proposed Strategy to Attain Deformable Materials
Presentation #MS43.P13.A437 (C648), "Design of Mechanically Flexible Organic Crystals: A Crystal Engineering Approach" by G. Krishna, R. Devarapalli, G. Lal and C. Reddy, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Kolkata, Mohanpur, India.

- NANOENGINEERING: Building Tougher Materials with Extreme Pressure 
Presentation #MS12.O02, "Creation of nanomaterials by extreme pressure-temperature conditions" by Vladimir Solozhenko, CNRS, LSPM, Villetaneuse, France.

- PATHOGENIC BACTERIA: How do Bacteria Inject Toxins
Presentation #MS37.O02, "Injecting a host with a bacterial toxin requires complex machinery.  Structures for these nano-machines are finally being uncovered using crystallography and complementary techniques" by S. Lea, University of Oxford, Great Britain.

- CANCER RESEARCH: Controlling Cell Life and Death
Presentation #MS101.O04, "Why mutated cancer cells don't die but instead proliferate is a question whose answer will be critical for finding cures for this disease.  Crystallographic research on some of the proteins that control cell death sheds light on the answer." by P. Czabotar, University of Melbourne, Australia.

- DIAMOND NETWORKS - New Class of Porous Materials Created
Presentation #MS67.O02, "Hierarchical Construction of Versatile Diamondoid Porous Organic Salts (d-POS)" by Norimitsu Tohnai, Atsushi Yamamoto, Ichiro Hisaki and Mikiji Miyata, Osaka University, Japan.


A number of lectures at the congress will address many of the global efforts taking place this year in recognition of IYCr2014 ( To obtain more information on any of these topics, you can search the meeting program for the presentation numbers shown below at or contact Jason Socrates Bardi at 240-535-4954 or

- CRYSTALS AROUND THE GLOBE: Laboratories in Africa, Asia and South America; summits in Pakistan, Brazil and South Africa; and a worldwide crystal-growing competition
Presentation #MS86.O01, "The International Year of Crystallography" by Claude Lecomte (Universite de Lorraine, Nancy, France) and Gautam Desiraju (Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India).

- CRYSTALLOGRAPHY IN URUGUAY: Explosive Growth in Recent Years
Presentation #MS86.O02, "Crystallography and the IYCr2014 in Uruguay and Latin America" by Leopoldo Suescun, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay.

- THE AFRICAN PICTURE: Addressing the Gap Between World's Wealthiest and Poorest Regions
Presentation #MS86.O03, "UNESCO activities in Africa for the 2014 International Year of Crystallography (IYCr)" by Jean-Paul Ngome Abiaga, UNESCO, Paris, France.

- THE CRYSTALLOGRAPHIC COMMUNITY: Around the World in 2014 and Beyond
Presentation #MS86.O04, "Vision of a knowledge economy in IYCr2014" by Jonathan Agbenyega, International Union of Crystallography, Chester, U.K.

- SNAPSHOTS FROM RUSSIA: Activities Celebrating the International Year in Novosibirsk
Presentation #MS86.O05, "IYCr in Novosibirsk" by Elena Boldyreva, Novosibirsk State University, Russia.

- CRYSTALLOGRAPHY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: Efforts in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Fiji and Singapore
Presentation #MS86.O06, "IYCr outcome in SE Asia" by Jagadese Vittal, National University of Singapore.


Three public lectures are planned during the conference in honor of the International Year of Crystallography. To obtain more information on any of these topics, you can search the meeting program for the presentation numbers shown below at or contact Jason Socrates Bardi at 240-535-4954 or

- Crystals: A World to Discover
Delivered by: Professor Juan Manuel Garcia-Ruiz, National Research Council of Spain
When: 8:15-9:30 p.m. on August 6, 2014 in room Leacock 132 on the McGill University Campus

- Quasi-Periodic Crystals – a Paradigm Shift in Crystallography
Delivered by: Nobel Laureate and Professor Dan Shechtman, Technion, Israel
When: 8:15-9:30 p.m. on August 7, 2014 in room Leacock 132 on the McGill University Campus

- What is a Crystal? New Answers to an Old Question
Delivered by: Professor Ron Lifshitz, Technion, Israel
When: 8:15-9:30 p.m. on August 11, 2014 in room Leacock 132 on the McGill University Campus

The IUCr is an International Scientific Union. Its objectives are to promote international cooperation in crystallography and to contribute to all aspects of crystallography, to promote international publication of crystallographic research, to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols, and to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences. From more information:

SOURCE International Union of Crystallography (IUCr)
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