News & AnalysisStructural Biology

News Flash: X-ray Laser Produces First Protein Structure

Science  30 Nov 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6111, pp. 1136
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6111.1136

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Summary

For the first time, an ultraintense x-ray laser has revealed the previously unknown atomic-scale structure of a protein, researchers report online today in Science. The advance ushers in a new type of protein crystallography. However, it's too early to tell whether so-called x-ray free-electron lasers will supplant conventional x-ray sources known as synchrotrons, which have cranked out tens of thousands of protein structures, or merely serve niche applications, structural biologists say.