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SAXS studies on biological molecules at Diamond Light Source

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The small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) covers the major disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics delivering structural and dynamic information in nanoscience, mesoscopic architectures, supramolecular structures, and nucleation/growth of crystals. The increased need for SAXS in biological sciences follows the recognition that many proteins are not amenable to crystallisation. They may however be characterised in part by SAXS where the molecular envelope can be used to constrain model building from NMR and MX data. Furthermore transient structures and structures with inherent flexibility are more amenable to SAXS for study than MX or NMR . Also, a simultaneous recording of both SAXS and WAXS (wide angle X-ray scattering) techniques in combination allows users to probe length scales ranging from a few Angstroms to several microns with high resolution. At the synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, one SAXS beamline (I22: Non-crystalline Diffraction) is operating and another one (B21: HATSAXS ) is now under construction. On I22 , the high brilliance of the insertion device source allows structural investigation of materials under extreme environments. I22 provides reliable access to millisecond and shorter time scales, essential to understanding kinetic processes such as early folding events, ligand binding and molecular interactions in proteins and other biological molecules. On B21 , the highly automated throughput measurements with the highest possible reliability and accuracy will be expected to perform successfully. The construction of this beamline will end in the second half of 2012, and will be open for users in early 2013 after the commissioning. A large variety of SAXS measurements would be expected to perform with the efficient use of these two beamlines. The development and improvement of software for Scattering data handling and analysis is progressed successfully along with the operation and the construction of beamlines. Some practical examples of SAXS data handling including molecular modelling would be shown at the seminar.

This talk is part of the Experimental and Computational Aspects of Structural Biology and Applications to Drug Discovery series.

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