Crystallography in Biology

Biology in Crystallography is the structural biology that helps us to see the detail that are missing from the view and also consequently as a powerful tool to unpick the intricate and also exquisite choreography of life. For centuries, we have been able to visualize structures inside a cell, but even the most powerful microscopes are limited in the detail they provide, either by the sheer physical  boundaries of magnification, or because the samples themselves are not alive and working. Structural biology methods delve beneath these limits bringing molecules to live in three Dimensions and into sharper focus. It has reached to the very limits of how a molecule works and how its function can be modified. Proteins are built with a DNA template and the string of amino acids then synthesized into very complex loops, sheets and coils – it might be seen like a tangle, but these structures indicate how the protein will interact with other structures around it in order to undertake its role in the cell. The elegant structures of crystals and the complexes that are formed can be breath-taking in their logic and symmetry, but they are also useful in helping us to understand how cells actually work. Most of the shapes, sizes and assemblies of molecules can be assigned to various compartments in cells and thus put into context with their surrounding environment.

  • Protein Crystallography
  • X-ray Crystallography
  • Structural biology and signalling pathways
  • New tools and methods in structural biology
  • Membrane Proteins Crystallography
  • Neutron crystallography
  • Phase Transformation Studies

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