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May 12, 2011

"Scientists see reduction in radiation damage to proteins when a micron-sized X-ray beam is used to collect data"

Radiation-induced damage to protein crystals limits the maximum achievable spatial resolution, even for cryo-cooled protein crystals. GM/CA CAT researchers have studied the extent of radiation damage as a function of beam size, doing a systematic study that showed that a threefold reduction in radiation damage per calculated dose could be obtained by decreasing the diameter of the X-ray beam size from 20 microns down to 0.8 microns. The sample “lived” three times longer in the X-ray beam with smallest compared to largest beam size studied.

Ruslan Sanishvili, Derek W. Yoder, Sudhir Babu Pothineni, Gerd Rosenbaum, Shenglan Xu, Stefan Vogt, Sergey Stepanov, Oleg A. Makarov, Stephen Corcoran, Richard Benn, Venugopalan Nagarajan, Janet L. Smith, and Robert F. Fischetti, “Radiation damage in protein crystals is reduced with a micron-sized X-ray beam,” PNAS, 108(15) 6127-6132; published ahead of print March 28, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1017701108



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