Nobel Prize winner Venki Ramakrishnan was among more than 200 scientists from across the UK who gathered at Diamond this week for the Synchrotron User Meeting 2011.
With six workshops ranging from X-Ray studies of magnetism through environmental synchrotron science to materials engineering and processing, the meeting represented a diverse range of science. Leading researchers presented new theoretical and practical advances in various fields and applications.
In his keynote address, Professor Ramakrishnan, joint winner of the 2009 in Chemistry for his work on the structure of the ribosome, discussed the way discoveries in macromolecular crystallography (MX) has accelerated over the past decade with more powerful beamlines, better detectors and increased automation.
Looking ahead to the future development of light source facilities, and particularly MX, he said: “The process of solving structures has in some ways become routine, with faster robotics and remote data collection. This also means that it is less easy to get your structures published.
“However, the hard problems are still hard, and in future we can expect more exciting breakthroughs on technically challenging structures such as membrane protein complexes, molecular machines, chromatin and neuronal synapse structures.”
Welcoming delegates to the meeting, Gerd Materlik, CEO of Diamond Light Source, said: “Partnership is fundamental to how Diamond works, and the success achieved so far is the result of a genuine team effort. Our academic and industrial user communities have always been closely involved in both operations and development, and we look forward to working together in the months and years ahead.”
Diamond Light Source is the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
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