Structure Analysis

  • Every atom counts in Protein structures

    Every atom counts in Protein structures | Tailored parallel X-rays perfectly matching the dimensions of the protein crystals enabled the scientists to determine the proteasome structure in unprecedented detail. Illustration: Hartmut Sebesse / Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

    Malignant cancer cells not only proliferate faster than most body cells. They are also more dependent on the most important cellular garbage disposal unit, the proteasome, which degrades defective proteins. Therapies for some types of cancer exploit this dependence: Patients are treated with inhibitors, which block the proteasome. The ensuing pile-up of junk overwhelms the cancer cell, ultimately killing it. Scientists have now succeeded in determining the human proteasome’s 3D structure in unprecedented detail and have deciphered the mechanism by which inhibitors block the proteasome. Their results will pave the way to develop more effective proteasome inhibitors for cancer therapy.

  • Kristalluntersuchung mit dreidimensionalen Beugungsmustern

    Kristalluntersuchung mit dreidimensionalen Beugungsmustern | Dreidimensionale Röntgenbeugungsmethode zur Bestimmung der kristallographischen Textur Abbildung: Wiley-VCH

    Trifft Röntgenstrahlung auf einen Kristall wird sie gebeugt und abgelenkt. Die sich daraus ergebenden Beugungsmuster werden auf einer Detektorfläche registriert und sind zweidimensionale Projektionen der Kristallstruktur. Diese Methode wird schon lange zur Strukturaufklärung genutzt. Forschern ist es nun gelungen dieser Projektion eine dritte Dimension hinzuzufügen: die Röntgenphotonenernergie.

  • Maßgeschneiderte Spitzen für Rasterkraftmikroskope dank Nano-3D-Druck

    Maßgeschneiderte Spitzen für Rasterkraftmikroskope dank Nano 3D Druck picture2 | Optimal an spezielle Anforderungen angepasste Sondenspitzen für Rasterkraftmikroskope können nun am KIT mittels Nano-3D-Druck hergestellt werden. Aufnahme: KIT

    Rasterkraftmikroskope machen die Nanostruktur von Oberflächen sichtbar. Ihre Sonden tasten das Untersuchungsmaterial dazu mit feinsten Messnadeln ab. Am KIT ist es nun gelungen, den Messnadeln eine maßgeschneiderte Form zu geben. So kann eine passende Messspitze für jede Messaufgabe hergestellt werden, etwa für verschiedenartige biologische Proben. Möglich macht dies die 3D-Laserlithografie, also ein 3D-Drucker für Strukturen in Nanometer-Größe. Die Fachpublikation Applied Physics Letters widmet diesem Erfolg nun ihre Titelseite. DOI: 10.1063/1.4960386

  • Precise laser drilling of CFRP components in large quantities

    Laser-drilled holes in an aircraft component made of CFRP.

    In a new joint research project, four enterprises and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) aim at further developing the laser drilling of composites for series production in the aircraft industry. Their focus is on designing an efficient system and process technique that meets the demands of aviation. Composites, such as carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP), have a high potential for lightweight construction and are therefore already now widely used in aviation. These materials, however, have extraordinary properties, such as a low weight and high stability at the same time, but processing composites is quite complex. Here, mechanical processes lead to high tool wear and thus to quality problems.

  • Watching Molecular Machines at Work

    Watching Molecular Machines at Work | Cryo EM structures of APC/C in three states: Left, off, before cells are ready for chromosome segregation; Middle, in the process of turning on; Right, on, in action, to turn on cell division. Illustration: Masaya Yamaguchi and Nicholas Brown, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    An international team of scientists from Austria, Germany and the US has combined newly developed techniques in electron microscopy and protein assembly to elucidate how cells regulate one of the most important steps in cell division. The latest paper in a series of four is now published online in Molecular Cell.