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The Automated Approach to Protein Structure

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Science  27 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5432, pp. 1345
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5432.1345

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Determining the three-dimensional structure of a protein can take months or years using current techniques. Amassing the current tally of some 10,500 structures has taken decades, and genome sequencing efforts are turning up new proteins at an accelerating pace. To try to keep up with the flood, a handful of groups is working to automate every stage of this process--from generating the proteins to crystallizing them, blasting them with x-rays, and analyzing the data.