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New Equipment Accelerates X-Ray Diffraction Research

“X-ray crystallography allows researchers to determine the position of every atom within a molecule. This is essential not only for understanding the function of biological mechanisms, but also for designing new drugs.”

Several MSU research groups will benefit from a $1 million piece of “gently used” X-ray diffraction equipment recently donated by Acceleron Pharma. It will assist MSU scientists in determining X-ray crystallographic structures.

“X-ray crystallography allows researchers to determine the position of every atom within a molecule. This is essential not only for understanding the function of biological mechanisms, but also for designing new drugs,” said Erik Martinez-Hackert, BMB assistant professor.

“Currently, MSU researchers go to the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory to perform these types of experiments. The new instrument will allow MSU scientists to perform most X-ray diffraction experiments in-house now,” Martinez-Hackert said.

Due to the instrument’s capabilities, experiments that previously took 24 to 48 hours can now be performed in less than an hour.

“Having this top-of-the-line resource here at MSU will be very helpful in future grant applications,” he added.