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mosquito® Crystal: Fast, reliable automation of Protein Crystallization drop set-up
Joby Jenkins, David Smith, Chloe Carter, Wendy Gaisford

Automation of protein crystallography screening has contributed significantly to the rapid progress of crystallography based structural biology. Automation allows samples to be screened using smaller volumes of both protein and screen solutions, reducing costs and saving valuable protein. Additional benefits include increased throughput and accuracy. One of the challenges to automating this process is the necessity to accurately pipette solutions of varying viscosities

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Analysis of overall success of robotic crystallization
I. Ivanovic, H. M. Baker, J. S. Lott and E. N. Baker

A total of about 140 different proteins have been commissioned and 62 have been crystallized with a quality suitable for X-ray diffraction (45%). On a per-drop basis, 300 crystallization experiments have been successful, representing an over¬all success rate of 3%. PEG 3350 was the precipitant for 20, making it the single most successful crystallization agent.

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Strategies for expression and solubility analysis

Production of soluble protein is one of the major bottlenecks that precede crystallographic studies.During the last years several techniques and strategies have been developed to address this problem. However, many of them imply an economical cost and technologies that are not always available. We will describe a general plan for protein solubility analysis by using a combination of four different but complementary strategies. In this plan, different constructs of a protein interest are designed

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Automating Microseeding Protein Crystallography Set-ups Using Mosquito
Joby Jenkins, David Smith, Rob Lewis, Chloe Carter

Crystallising proteins, required for structure determination by X-ray diffraction, is a difficult and labour-intensive task. The mosquito liquid handler (TTP LabTech) is ideally suited to automating the complex set-ups required for microseeding due to its precide handling of extremely low volumes of even viscous solutions, and its ability to perform multiple aspirations and dispenses with each pipette.

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Automated Single Crystal Structure Determination - A Tool for Synthetic Chemists?
Bernd Hinrichsen, Martin Adam, Michael Carr, Dieter Schollmeyer,

During recent years large improvements in software functionality and its ease-of-use have made single crystal X-ray structure determination easier than ever. These days most structures can be measured, processed, solved and refined using well selected defaults with no or little crystallographic knowledge. Recently, microfocus sources and CCD detectors both air-cooled, have entered the marketplace. Combining these innovations with an automated sample loader and an intelligent graphical user inte

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Advances in Crystallographic Hardware for Structural Biology
Matthew Benning and Michael Ruf, Bruker AXS Inc., East Cheryl Parkway

The number of life science investigators utilizing crystallography in their research increases every year. Synchrotrons are an invaluable resource for structural work but not everyone has unlimited access to a beamline. In-house diffraction systems complement synchrotron access and can provide increased productivity in the home lab. In recent years, the performance and versatility of in-house systems has greatly improved. The enhanced performance allows data collection on demanding projects such

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MED-SuMo and MED-Hybridise: exploit all PDB macromolecule structures to design/optimize innovative leads
Moriaud F., Oguievetskaia K., Adcock S.A., Vorotynsev A.M., Martin L., Doppelt-Azeroual O. and Delfaud F.

Obtaining structural information on fragment-protein target is a key factor and also a major limitation. We’ve used MED-SuMo and MED-Hybridise to query and mine the PDB seeking for similar interaction surfaces. MED-portions were used to design novel scaffolds (GPCR) and decorate a given scaffold (kinase). We have analysed the scaffolds in regard to their diversity, their presence in PubChem, PDB and other libraries.

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Phase Diagram Visualization via Continuously-Fed Crystallization: Experiments and Model
Masano Sugiyama and Victor Barocas

A continuously-fed crystallization chamber is manufactured to allow phase diagram visualization. This microfluidic system allows the experimenter to screen a large range of salt and protein concentrations in one experiment. This allows the experimenter to predict the protein phase diagram in a single experiment. A continuous-feed crystallization chamber has been successfully fabricated and characterized in terms of its flow profile, and has successfully predicted the phase diagram for lysozyme.

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Low Volume Liquid Handling of Organic Solvents for Compound Storage and Dissolution using mosquito
Gillian Lewis, Tristan Cope, Joby Jenkins, David Gledhill & Rob Lewis

mosquito® is a positive displacement liquid handling system capable of pipetting solutions with a high degree of accuracy (to within 5%) and precision (CVs of <10%) in the nanolitre range. Here, we demonstrate mosquito’s ability to dispense accurately low volumes of organic solvents of low surface tension and to re-dissolve compounds which have been previously dried in storage wells.

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Scientific News
Cellular Contamination Pathway for Heavy Elements Identified
Berkeley Lab scientists find that an iron-binding protein can transport actinides into cells.
Structural Discoveries Could Aid in Better Drug Design
Scientists have uncovered the structural details of how some proteins interact to turn two different signals into a single integrated output.
New Mathematics Advances the Frontier of Macromolecular Imaging
Berkeley Lab’s M-TIP solves the reconstruction problem for fluctuation X-ray scattering.
Diamond Helps Develop New Way of Studying the Tiniest Microcrystals
Researchers have developed a new type of sample holder for ‘serial protein crystallography’.
Crystal Clear Images Uncover Secrets of Hormone Receptors
NIH researchers gain better understanding of how neuropeptide hormones trigger chemical reactions in cells.
TOPLESS Plants Provide Clues to Human Molecular Interactions
Scientists at Van Andel Research Institute have revealed an important molecular mechanism in plants that has significant similarities to certain signaling mechanisms in humans, which are closely linked to early embryonic development and to diseases such as cancer.
Advancing Cancer Drug Design with Image of Key Protein
Scientists have pioneered the use of a high-powered imaging technique to picture in exquisite detail one of the central proteins of life – a cellular recycling unit with a role in many diseases.
Mould Unlocks New Route to Biofuels
Scientists at The University of Manchester have made an important discovery that forms the basis for the development of new applications in biofuels and the sustainable manufacturing of chemicals.
'Invisible' Protein Structure Explains the Power of Enzymes
A research group at Umeå University in Sweden has managed to capture and describe a protein structure that, until now, has been impossible to study.
Unraveling the Elusive Structure of HIV Protein
Snapshots of HIV virus’ proteins may help design new ways to fight the disease.
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