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Two colour technique reveals how X-ray lasers damage biomolecules

Step to a fuller understanding of how X-ray flashes modify the structure of proteins

03-Jun-2020

X-ray lasers can reveal the spatial structures of biomolecules that are hard to come by with other methods. However, the intense X-ray flashes vaporise the samples almost immediately. An international team of scientists has now followed how this radiation damage spreads in biomolecules to ...

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X-rays show birth of semiconductor for blue LEDs

Gallium nitride is the second most important semiconductor material after silicon

28-Feb-2020

Using a special pressure furnace, an international team of researchers has analysed the initial stages of the growth of the semiconductor gallium nitride with X-ray light. The observations show for the first time the atomic structure of the interface of the semiconductor material with liquid ...

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Research team finds possible new approach for sleeping sickness drugs

X-ray laser reveals structure of a key enzyme of the parasite Trypanosoma brucei

04-Feb-2020

Using ultra-bright X-ray flashes, a team of researchers has tracked down a potential target for new drugs against sleeping sickness: The scientists have decoded the detailed spatial structure of a vital enzyme of the pathogen, the parasite Trypanosoma brucei. The result provides a possible ...

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Ultrafast birth of free radicals observed in water

X-ray laser provides unrivalled insight into the first chemical reaction during radiolysis

13-Jan-2020

Using extremely short X-ray flashes, an international team of researchers has for the first time ever observed details of the ultrafast chemical reaction leading to the formation of aggressive radicals when water is irradiated. The study provides unprecedented insights into the process, which can ...

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Using corkscrew lasers to separate mirror molecules

Innovative approach could deepen insight into the mysterious handedness of life

13-Dec-2019

Many of the molecular building blocks of life have two versions that are mirror images of one another, known as enantiomers. Although seemingly identical, the two enantiomers can have completely different chemical behaviour – a fact that has major implications in our day-to-day lives. For ...

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First molecular movies at European XFEL

Researchers follow dynamics of light-sensitive protein with European X-ray laser

26-Nov-2019

An international team of researchers has made the first film of the dynamics of a biomolecule at the European X-ray laser European XFEL. In a paper published in Nature Methods, scientists show how to effectively use the high X-ray pulse repetition rate of the European X-ray laser European XFEL to ...

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How molecular footballs burst in an X-ray laser beam

Study shows effect of X-ray flashes on sensitive biomolecules

26-Sep-2019

An international research team has observed in real time how football molecules made of carbon atoms burst in the beam of an X-ray laser. The study shows the temporal course of the bursting process, which takes less than a trillionth of a second, and is important for the analysis of sensitive ...

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First high-speed hard X-ray microscopic movies at a free-electron laser

New technique enables investigation of industrially relevant materials and processes in motion

30-Aug-2019

A group of researchers has for the first time performed high-speed microscopy using an X-ray laser at the European XFEL. The team produced a super slow-motion movie of a bursting glass capillary with micrometre spatial resolution. The method allows for observations of processes that take place at ...

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Nanometre gaps can crystallise liquids

X-ray examination shows surprising coexistence of liquid and crystalline form

14-May-2019

Very narrow gaps make liquids crystallise partially. X-ray investigations at DESY show that in gaps just a few molecule diameters wide both, liquid and crystal properties of a material can exist at the same time. The observation of this coexistence is important for all liquids in very small ...

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New X-ray procedure offers insights into iridium compounds for practical applications

Exotic properties

17-Apr-2019

Scientists at DESY and the London Centre for Nanotechnology, at University College London, have developed a new method for examining the astonishing properties of a special class of iridium oxides known as iridates. The team of principal author Pavel Alexeev, from the Dynamics Beamline P01 at ...

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