X-ray pulses reveal structure of viral cocoon

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An international team of scientists has used high-intensity X-ray pulses to determine the structure of the crystalline protein envelope of an insect virus.

The tiny viruses with their crystal casing are by far the smallest protein crystals ever analyzed using X-ray crystallography.

“Simulations based on our measurements suggest that our method can probably be used to determine the structure of even smaller crystals consisting of only hundreds or thousands of molecules,” reports Chapman, a member of the Hamburg Center for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI). “This takes us a huge step further towards our goal of analyzing individual molecules.”

This opens up new opportunities for the study of protein structures.

Read the full story here.

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