Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

10 Million Euro Technology Project Makes Europe a leader in Biocrystallography

09.02.2005


A project to create a common platform throughout Europe for researchers working in the field of ‘biological crystallography’ is underway thanks to a grant of 10 million euros from the EU’s 6th Framework Programme (FP6).



The BIOXHIT (Biocrystallography on a Highly Integrated Technology Platform) project plans to integrate and further develop the best of current technologies at major European centres for research in structural biology. It will then weave them into a single standardised platform, combining a strongly focused research programme with networking, training and mobility of staff under a single and efficient management structure.

Biological crystallography aims to create precise, three-dimensional “architectural” models of biological molecules. Without such models at hand, it is almost impossible to understand biological processes - for example, the way proteins and other molecules behave in cells - or to design new drugs that will affect their functions. The most common method for obtaining such three-dimensional models is to bombard crystallised proteins with high-powered X-rays generated at huge synchrotron facilities.


“The components necessary to solve molecular structures are already in place,” says Dr. Kim Henrick from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in Hinxton, one of the leading UK project partners. “However these tools were not originally designed for the high-throughput work required today because of the number of molecules discovered in the many genome sequencing projects. Each step of three-dimensional analysis is at a different state at each facility. This major grant will support the development and the integration of the best technology at each step, and then spread that across all of the sites.”

“One immediate effect of BIOXHIT will be a significant reduction in the time involved in obtaining each structure. Robots, for example, can perform tasks automatically, quickly, and at a consistent and high precision, replacing time-consuming manual steps. The project specifically calls for improvements in the process by which samples are handled, the equipment needed to detect X-ray patterns, and the computers and software needed to model structures. A result of this will be to attract more researchers to work on protein structures.”

Training activities are a cornerstone of the project - being funded under the thematic area ‘Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health’ of FP6 - with over 20 partners throughout Europe. A number of Training, Implementation and Dissemination centers will be created outside the participating laboratories to disseminate the know-how. A proactive training effort will take place at synchrotron facilities, and then be spread to satellite centres to disseminate biocrystallography technologies to local European communities.

“Biocrystallography is a complex area that used to be limited to a small number of specialists”, says Claire Horton, FP6UK National Contact Point for Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health. “This has now changed and we have researchers in all areas of biology who want to solve molecular structures. BIOXHIT not only make this very user friendly but it will also allow them to send samples and work remotely.”

“The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free information on how to access some of the €19bn available should log on to http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080.”

Dave Sanders | alfa
Further information:
http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>