X-ray crystallography is a key tool for the determination and characterisation of three-dimensional structures at the atomic level of small molecules from many different sources. The method is based on the diffraction of incident X-ray beams by crystalline samples. The angles and intensities of the diffracted reflections are used for the calculation of atom positions and building of the three-dimensional model of the molecule.
Even though X-ray sources are widely available in home laboratories, the synchrotron provides a unique environment and unmatched features. Users benefit from a significant increase in data quality and often the synchrotron can solve the structure of otherwise intractable samples.
The technique is extremely beneficial for research in a wide range of industries including the pharmaceutical, oil, agriculture and chemical sectors among others.
Respiratory infections are one of the biggest killers in the western world, and pneumococcal infections can range from mild to potentially deadly. Children and the elderly are most at risk, as well as those with compromised immune systems. There are approximately 90 distinct pneumococcal serotypes and, although not all cause disease, this makes treatment challenging. An effective conjugate vaccine has been available since 2001, however there has been a rise in antibiotic resistance in serotypes not covered by this conjugate vaccine and previously non-infectious serotypes are increasing in virulence. This makes treatment of pneumococcal pneumonia and less severe illnesses such as otitis media more difficult to manage. Therefore finding new approaches to combat pneumococcal disease remains a high priority.Read more...
In the past two decades, fragment based drug discovery has emerged as a powerful method to discover and develop new drugs. Such strategy relies on the identification of low molecular weight compounds that bind weakly to a target. The structural information gained on fragment-target complexes provides an excellent starting point for the development of potent and selective drugs.Read more...
The “freezing” of diesel fuel in winter has been a problem since its inception. Wax crystals nucleate and grow and block fuel lines and filters which can lead to vehicle failures and motorists being stranded. Additives are used to control these crystals but, over recent years, the use of biofuels (fatty acid methyl esters) within diesel blends has become increasingly common. This can adversely affect the low temperature operability of the fuel. Legislation demands that biofuels are part of diesel blends throughout the EU, with levels expected to increase.Read more...
Along with many pharmaceutical materials, sodium diclofenac, a commonly used painkiller, can crystallise in many different forms depending on the manufacturing and formulation conditions. Each crystalline form may have very different biological and physical properties including bioavailability, drug delivery mechanism and shelf-life. Full characterisation and optimisation of solid forms of an API is therefore critical.Read more...
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