The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) has awarded 8.8 Million Euro to the Hamburg Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) for the construction of an Integrated Research Facility for Structural Biology at the new PETRA-III storage ring of the German Synchrotron Research Centre (DESY), named EMBL@PETRA-III. The new facility will comprise a complete and automated pipeline for structural investigations of proteins and other biological molecules using the high-energy X-rays of PETRA-III, soon to be one of the world’s most powerful radiation sources. The new addition to EMBL Hamburg’s existing structural biology facilities will start operations in 2010.
X-rays are an extremely powerful tool in the life sciences. The crucial molecules that determine our life, such as proteins and DNA, are too small to be observed with even the most sophisticated light microscopes. At EMBL Hamburg, structural biologists use the high-energy radiation of DESY’s synchrotron to generate three-dimensional images and to study the structure of biological molecules. Often the high-resolution images of proteins involved in diseases serve as the starting-point for the development of new drugs. In the last four years EMBL Hamburg has for example solved the structure of over 30 proteins involved in causing tuberculosis and has identified several potential drug targets.
“PETRA-III will be one of the world’s strongest synchrotron rings with leading optical parameters,” says Matthias Wilmanns, Head of EMBL Hamburg, “but to foster the use of this radiation efficiently for the life sciences it needs technical skills and experience. EMBL Hamburg has developed great expertise practicing research in structural biology for over 30 years and coordinating several big EU projects in the field. Now we will bring together the cutting-edge technology provided by DESY and our expertise in the life sciences in the new Integrated Facilities for Structural Biology at PETRA-III to make them available to the scientific community.”
EMBL@PETRA-III and its services will be accessible to structural biologists from all around the world and user time will be allocated exclusively according to scientific merit. The new facilities at PETRA-III will allow to investigate protein machines of unprecedented complexity and size and provide the unique opportunity to carry out pilot experiments in life sciences in preparation for the future X-ray Free Electron Laser at DESY.
EMBL@PETRA-III will feature three state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation beamlines. One of them will be dedicated to “Small Angle X-ray Scattering”(SAXS), which studies proteins or protein complexes in solution to infer their overall shape and gain knowledge about dynamic processes in biology. The other two beamlines will be used for crystallography, a technique to determine the structure of crystallised proteins. The extremely focused synchrotron beams of PETRA-III will reveal atomic details of crystals as small as the fraction of a micrometer for the first time. The new facility will also house infrastructure for high-throughput protein crystallisation, sample preparation and characterisation and data processing, allowing all steps of structural investigation of molecules to be carried out under one roof. This will greatly speed up the investigation of molecules relevant to life and disease.
“This unique facility will allow us to go beyond current physical limitations and to tackle problems that were out of reach in the past,” says Thomas Schneider, Project Coordinator of EMBL@PETRA-III. “It will not only strengthen Europe’s role as a key player in the life sciences, but will also further raise the profile of the city of Hamburg in the European research landscape.”
Anna-Lynn Wegener | alfa
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences