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.
Dave Sanders | alfa
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