Contact: Diana Lutz
Washington University in St. Louis
Caption: Images of several related proteins made at synchrotrons in the US and France have allowed scientists at Washington University in St. Louis and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Grenoble, France, to solve the structure of a key piece of the biochemical machinery that allows plants to control the concentrations of circulating hormones. Here, WUSTL graduate student Corey Westfall delicately places a protein crystal on a stage at the Advanced Photon Source, a synchrotron at the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago that produces a brilliant beam of X-rays. Once the crystal is in place, Westfall will leave and heavy lead doors will close on the experiment station, called a hutch, and the beam will be deflected from a storage ring to the stage. Westfall won’t know until he has seen the resulting image of the protein whether the crystal is a good one or not.
Credit: Image courtesy of Westfall
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