Diamond provides a range of techniques for academic and industrial researchers studying the machines of life. As one of those techniques, Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) reveals the shape and arrangement of biological molecules at atomic resolution, knowledge of which provides a highly accurate insight into function. This can be combined with complementary information from many other techniques available at Diamond alongside lab based investigations to reveal the broader picture of molecular interactions and their effects.
MX is a core activity at Diamond with seven beamlines dedicated to the technique alongside the XFEL Hub, Membrane Protein Laboratory and XChem fragment screening facility for the extensive UK structural biology community as well as researchers in Europe and beyond. The staff of the MX group are recognised as innovative world leaders in MX, moving the goalposts of what is feasible for 'conventional' MX as well as developing techniques and beamlines that transform MX to the next level, enabling new experiments and methodologies. The group takes a long term approach to enabling new capabilities at its suite of beamlines to meet the current and future demands of an exacting community of scientists.
Fragment-based screening is now well-established as a powerful approach to early drug ("lead") discovery. Of the many suitable biophysical techniques, X-ray crystallography was one of the first to be used, and is the most directly informative (reference); however, the experimental overheads have historically been too high for it to be widely used for primary screening.
Biological Cryo-Imaging Group brings together dedicated facilities for X-ray, light and electron microscopy at Diamond. The bending magnet beamline B24 is the source of X-rays for the full field cryo-transmission X-ray microscope dedicated to biological X-ray imaging and the beamline has also established a cryo super resolution fluorescence microscopy facility which is a joint venture between Diamond and the University of Oxford. The Biological Cryo-Imaging Group is completed with the recently established national centre for cryo-electron microscopy at Diamond, eBIC (Electron Bio-Imaging Centre).
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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