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International Union of Crystallography

The IUCr is an International Scientific Union. Its objectives are to promote international cooperation in crystallography and to contribute to all aspects of crystallography, to promote international publication of crystallographic research, to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols, and to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences.

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Alajos Kálmán 1935-2017

kalmanOn 26 December 2017, Professor Alajos Kálmán passed away at the age of 82 years. He began his career studying inorganic compounds and later investigated polymorphism in heterocyclic systems. He described morphotropism and elaborated the isostructurality index for organic compounds, discovering the importance of non-crystallographic rotations and translations. He was a visiting scientist and lecturer in several countries and received many honours and awards. Professor Kálmán was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Crystallography between 1984 and 1990, and subsequently Vice President of the IUCr between 1990 and 1993. He served as a Co-editor for IUCr Journals between 1990 and 1999, and represented the IUCr in the European Physical Society between 1987 and 1993. Professor Kálmán was elected to be the Vice President of the Hungarian Chemical Society in 1990 and was President of the Society between 1996 and 2007. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and colleagues in the crystallographic community. A full obituary will be published in due course.
Posted 02 Jan 2018 

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IUCr Publications

A new section of the IUCr website highlights IUCr publications, past and present. It provides a convenient interface for reaching online journals and International Tables content, and for ordering books published by the IUCr or in association with other publishers. We invite you to browse this new section, which appears in the new design that will be progressively applied across the IUCr website in the coming months.

Posted 02 Nov 2017 

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The IUCr Associates Programme

The IUCr Associates Programme, which launched this year at the IUCr Congress in Hyderabad, underpins many of the Union’s outreach and education initiatives.

Some of these activities include its bursary scheme which supports students to attend international meetings, a Visiting Professor scheme and building crystallography capacity in Africa and other parts of the world.

F-R_Fan.jpgOne winner of a student bursary is Feng-Ren Fan, a PhD student at Fudan University, China. Feng-Ran had this to stay about his experience of attending the Shanghai International Crystallographic School, “The course helped develop my understanding of group theory and crystallography, and the application of both theories. Another important area I learnt about was the Bilbao Crystallographic Server, this is a very powerful tool for people working in the physical sciences”. Feng-Ran went on to say, “I definitely learnt a lot and enjoyed the school very much. Thank you for a nice experience!”

Scientists joining the Associates Programme are offered a series of benefits and tools to help them network, share ideas and discover more about crystallography. For example, the benefits include:

  • Discounts on the open-access fee for publishing an article in an IUCr journal
  • A number of free article downloads from IUCr journals
  • Discounts on books from other publishers such as Wiley and Oxford University Press
  • Professional networking opportunities, such as access to the IUCr LinkedIn discussion group and job listings
  • Resources to help in your professional development

To learn more about the Associates Programme please follow this link.

The three-year joining fee is USD 200. A reduced rate of USD 60 is available for students, retired scientists and those from developing countries.

Join now by following this link.

If you have any questions about the Associates Programme please get in touch by emailing us at associates@iucr.org or by submitting your query via this web form.

Posted 28 Nov 2017 

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Publication guidelines for biomolecular small-angle scattering

jc5010Small-angle scattering continues to increase in popularity for structure biology studies. The technique can provide structural information that is both accurate and precise and, especially when used in combination with other complementary data, of considerable value for studying individual molecules, complexes and assemblies. However, without stringent attention to data quality and model validation, there is significant potential for over-interpretation or even for being misled.

In 2012 preliminary guidelines were published addressing sample quality, data acquisition and reduction, presentation of scattering data and modelling, and data and model validation for biomolecular small-angle scattering (SAS) experiments. These guidelines aimed to establish a standard reporting framework that would aid in providing experimenters, reviewers and readers with confidence in the results being presented. Authors have increasingly adopted the preliminary guidelines. As biomolecular SAS has continued to grow, new methods and innovations have emerged. In parallel, integrative/hybrid determination of biomolecular structures is a rapidly growing field that is expanding the scope of structural biology. For SAS to contribute maximally to this field, it is essential to ensure open access to all of the information required for evaluation of the quality of SAS samples and data, as well as the validity of SAS-based structural models. To this end, reviewed and updated guidelines have been published [see Trewhella et al. (2017), Acta Cryst. D73, 710-728; doi:10.1107/S2059798317011597], and the deposition of data and associated models in a public archive has been recommended. These guidelines and recommendations have been prepared in consultation with the members of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) Small-Angle Scattering and Journals Commissions, the Worldwide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB) Small-Angle Scattering Validation Task Force and additional experts in the field.

By using the guidelines, authors publishing structural biology studies using small-angle scattering (SAXS or SANS) will ensure that their readers understand the quality of their data and the validity of the models presented. The paper above provides an explanation for the relevance of the recommended guidelines as well as example data sets and modelling approaches.

To help authors further, IUCr Journals have now updated their Word template to include SAS data tables. To access these just tick the box next to "include SAS data" when opening the template or, once it is open, go to table tools to get a blank table template to fill in. Also, if the structure is deposited in the Small Angle Scattering Biological Data Bank (SASBDB) there is the option to input the database ID and the data will be fetched and included in the table automatically. The IUCr online authoring tool publBio (publBio.iucr.org) has also been updated for SAS data where there are also options to use a blank template or include your data automatically.

We look forward to continued interest and growth in biomolecular SAS, and hope that these guidelines, and the IUCr publication tools now available, help authors publish their results successfully.

Posted 12 Dec 2017 

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GigaFRoST: the gigabit fast readout system for tomography

pp5108A thorough understanding of dynamic processes in areas as diverse as biomechanics, materials science miniature engineering, and energy research relies on our ability to observe structural changes of materials in three-dimensional detail at high speeds. X-ray microtromography is a technique capable of looking inside opaque objects without destroying them. So far, the observation of very fast processes has been hindered by the lack of suitable camera systems. To enable live time-resolved measurements of real dynamic phenomena over extended periods of time, a group of scientists in Switzerland [Mokso et al. (2017), J. Synchrotron Rad. 24, 1250-1259] have developed a new high-frame-rate camera readout system, called GigaFRoST (Gigabit Fast Readout System for Tomography).

While a number of commercial imaging systems are capable of acquiring images with very high frame rates, they are usually designed for burst operation, storing data on internal memory which is read out only after the measurements and at speeds much slower than the experiment duration. This results in essentially blind acquisition. Moreover, the total acquisition time is limited by the size of the available memory, which is usually not enough to cover the full duration of a dynamic process. GigaFRoST solves this problem by streaming the data from the camera directly to a dedicated server, which is able to make the data available for previewing and analysis essentially in real time, while the amount of data that can be acquired is limited only by the server memory or the attached file storage capacity.

This advancement opens up countless new opportunities for the observation of dynamic systems with high temporal resolution, such as crack propagation in materials, bubble growth in metal foams, musculoskeletal motions in insects, and many more.

Making use of a modular and easily extendable, parallelizable architecture, the same data streaming approach can be used and adapted for other high-performance detector systems.

Dr Christian M. Schlepütz
Beamline Scientist, Paul Scherrer Institut, Switzerland
Posted 08 Nov 2017 

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Ted Janssen 1936-2017

janssen2017On 29 September 2017, Emeritus Professor T. W. J. M. (Ted) Janssen passed away at the age of 81 years. Together with Aloysio Janner he was one of the founders of the superspace approach in crystal-structure analysis for the description of quasiperiodic crystals and modulated structures. Ted was a Co-editor for Acta Crystallographica Section A from 1993 to 2002, and was awarded the Aminoff prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science (with P. M. de Wolff and A. Janner) in 1988 and the tenth Ewald prize of the  International Union of Crystallography (with A. Janner) in 2014. Ted was highly respected for his ability to combine a deep knowledge of physics with a rigorous mathematical approach, and his work with Janner had a huge impact on the development of crystallography. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues in the crystallographic community. A full obituary will be published in due course.
Posted 13 Oct 2017