Developments in X-ray Crystallographic Structure Determination of Biological Macromolecules

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Science  07 Mar 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6175, pp. 1102-1108
DOI: 10.1126/science.1247829

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The three-dimensional structures of large biomolecules important in the function and mechanistic pathways of all living systems and viruses can be determined by x-ray diffraction from crystals of these molecules and their complexes. This area of crystallography is continually expanding and evolving, and the introduction of new methods that use the latest technology is allowing the elucidation of ever larger and more complex biological systems, which are now becoming tractable to structure solution. This review looks back at what has been achieved and forward at how current and future developments may allow technical challenges to be overcome.

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