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Old 02-05-2011, 02:36 AM #1
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Default X-ray laser captures images of viruses

This is pretty interesting http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog...ddenworld.html


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Old 02-05-2011, 11:29 AM #2
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

dang I was just about to post the same thread!?

Giant Virus, Tiny Protein Crystals Show X-ray Laser’s Power and Potential | KurzweilAI

I think "pretty interesting" is an understatment, I read a ton of science news articles and this is the coolest one I have read in years.

I hope people see this I think a lot of people in this forum would find this fascinating
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:07 AM #3
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

It think its interesting. This technique allows the study of proteins without the need to make crystals out of them.

Much of the structure of proteins so far has been revealed by x-ray crystallography, but making proteins crystallize in the first place has always been a major problem. Some proteins will quite readily form crystals and allow anylsis, but the majority of them are problematic at best. If this technology omits that step from the process, i'm sure it will give major insight in proteins that remained un-analyzed so far... as well as speed up the process for proteins that could form crystals (a process that often takes months and is very irratic).
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:15 AM #4
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

Someday, short wavelengths will be used in compact disk burning, such as X-ray. :P 4TB disks on their way!

Maybe?
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:25 AM #5
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

Who knows... i think its a very separate issue from this step forward though.

I have no doubt that there will be terabyte media in a couple of years, but realistically it does not take x-rays to achieve such data densities. Personally, i think going for 3D rather than 2D media will be the breakthrough there.
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Old 02-09-2011, 02:40 AM #6
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

How about a neutron microscope. Less than the price of a B2!
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:05 AM #7
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

Quote:
In brilliant beams of light from the world’s most powerful X-ray laser...
Yeah, sure, brilliant, magnificent, unbelivably beautiful , also completely invisible, beams of light.

On the other hand, wow. We X-rayed some broken arms, now we X-ray some viruses. What, just in case they break something

I didn't read the whole article but, could this be used for imaging for example, cancer cells or something like that? THAT would be a breakthrough.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:44 PM #8
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

Something like that. To study cancer cells as a whole, you can even use an optical microscope. With this technology you can see things much smaller than that, for example the exact structure of proteins on the cell membrane.

This could help, for example, to find a difference in a specific protein that makes people more or less susceptible to cancer. Sometimes we know genetic mutations that are linked to a disease, but the exact mechanism is not known because we do not know the structure of the protein that gene codes for.

At the moment protein structure is mostly analyzed by x-ray diffraction, which requires growing macroscopic crystals of the protein. This is especially difficult for membrane bound proteins, and any technology that allows study of their structure without the need for crystals would be a significant breakthrough.

Currently the only technology that sort of allows such studies is NMR, but solving 3d structures of proteins is extremely complex and time consuming.
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Old 02-10-2011, 09:42 PM #9
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Default Re: X-ray laser captures images of viruses

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Currently the only technology that sort of allows such studies is NMR, but solving 3d structures of proteins is extremely complex and time consuming.
correct, a colleague of mine received the Nobel Prize (prof. Kurt WŁthrich) for this kind of study in 2002
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