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Scientific Opportunities: Life Sciences

Overview | Chronology | Macromolecular Crystallography | Structure & Dynamics | Biological & Biomedical Imaging

Overview

A scanning transmission x-ray microscope image of a fibroblast ( a cell that produces collagen fibers, which make up connective tissue) that has been labeled with gold particles to identify tubulin (a cytoskeleton component).

One major thrust of life sciences research at synchrotron sources is protein crystallography, which uses x-rays to see the crystal structure of proteins and other biological molecules. Other life sciences research focuses on using x-rays to image tissue and cells, and to "watch" biological processes that occur on very short time scales, such as protein folding. The information learned from these fundamental studies is used to design drugs and treatments for disease, to predict and detect disease, and to understand the vast array of biological processes that govern life.

However, this important research cannot continue to advance without producing x-rays that are far brighter and more focused than those currently available at any other light source worldwide. The light available at NSLS-II will lead the world in brightness, opening up many new research pathways in the life sciences and drawing in the best biological and medical researchers.

Since 2007, through workshops, trips to Washington, white papers, and other activities, NSLS-II planners have been steadily mapping out what promises to be a rich life sciences research program at the new facility.  A running chronology of these activities is detailed here.

 

Last Modified: May 2, 2014
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