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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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Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography 2018

Fri, Sep 15, 2017 08:00 CET

pietgrosThe Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Gregori Aminoff Prize in Crystallography 2018 to Professor Piet Gros from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, “for his fundamental contributions to understanding the complement system-mediated innate immune response”. The prize amount is SEK 100,000.

The complement system, which is part of our immune system, plays an important role in the body’s defences against bacteria and viruses. This year’s Laureate has made revolutionary discoveries in this field.

When the complement system is activated, more than 30 different proteins interact in a highly intricate cascade-like manner. Professor Piet Gros has succeeded in producing crystals from many complement proteins and determining their three-dimensional structures. He has also studied the complicated protein complexes formed by these proteins and succeeded in clarifying their three-dimensional structures. Through his research, Piet Gros has been able to describe in detail the molecular mechanisms that lead to the activation of the complement system and which explain this protein system’s effects on the immune system.

Congenital and acquired defects in the complement system have recently proven to be the cause of many different medical conditions, so detailed knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that are part of the complement system is therefore vital.

Piet Gros’ research is potentially of significant medical importance; the structural information that has been produced is a foundation for the development of new treatments for various autoimmune, inflammatory and degenerative diseases.

Piet Gros’ research group has been world-leading in this field and is responsible for most of the structural knowledge of this important and complex protein system.

The Prize Ceremony will be held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ Annual Meeting on 13 April 2018.

The Prize Lecture will be held on 12 April, at Lund University, Skåne University Hospital in Malmö.

This press release and image is taken from The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences website. The link to the original press release can be found here.
You can see a full list of IUCr papers published by Professor Gros by clicking here
Posted 15 Sep 2017 

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Protein microcrystallography using synchrotron radiation

ai5003The progress in X-ray microbeam applications using synchrotron radiation is beneficial to structure determination from macromolecular microcrystals such as small in meso crystals. However, the high intensity of microbeams causes severe radiation damage, which worsens both the statistical quality of diffraction data and their resolution, and in the worst cases results in the failure of structure determination. Even in the event of successful structure determination, site-specific damage can lead to the misinterpretation of structural features. In order to overcome this issue, technological developments in sample handling and delivery, data-collection strategy and data processing have been made. For a few crystals with dimensions of the order of 10 µm, an elegant two-step scanning strategy works well. For smaller samples, the development of a novel method to analyze multiple isomorphous microcrystals was motivated by the success of serial femtosecond crystallography with X-ray free-electron lasers. This method overcame the radiation-dose limit in diffraction data collection by using a sufficient number of crystals. In Yamamoto, M. et al. (2017). IUCrJ, 4, 529-539 important technologies and the future prospects for microcrystallography are discussed.

Posted 14 Sep 2017 

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IUCr Associates Programme

marv associatesThe IUCr is pleased to announce its new, voluntary Associates Programme. The programme launched officially at the IUCr Congress in Hyderabad in August 2017.

The programme offers a series of benefits and tools to help you network, share ideas and discover more about crystallography. In addition, by joining the IUCr Associates Programme you will be supporting the IUCr in its many charitable activities such as sponsoring international meetings and schools, and its OpenLabs initiative.

The benefits of joining include, for example, a 20% discount on the open-access fee for publishing an article in an IUCr journal, the facility to download 6 free articles from Crystallography Journals Online, a 50% discount for individuals purchasing the print version of International Tables for Crystallography, and many others.

There will also be tools for professional networking such as access to the IUCr LinkedIn group, a jobs board and opportunities to participate in the IUCr Outreach and Education programme.

The Associates Programme welcomes individuals at any stage of their career, from undergraduates to postdoctoral and senior researchers (a reduced joining rate is available for students and retired scientists).

The IUCr is offering a discount of 20% on the Associates Programme joining fee, which gives you access to all the benefits for a period of 3 years. Anyone signing up now will be eligible for this specially discounted rate (USD 160 or USD 48 for students and retired scientists). For more details and to register your interest in this offer, please click here.

If you have any questions about the Associates Programme, please do not hesitate to contact us at associates@iucr.org
Posted 08 Sep 2017 

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The new Executive Committee

During the Third Session of the IUCr General Assembly in Hyderabad, 26 August 2017, elections were held to appoint the Officers of the Union.

Sven Lidin was elected President of the IUCr for the triennium 2017-2020.

Hanna Dabkowska was elected as Vice-President for the same period.

Luc Van Meervelt was elected unopposed for a further term as General Secretary and Treasurer.

Jennifer L. Martin and Graciela Diaz de Delgado were elected to six-year terms.

Continuing Members from the present Executive Committee are: Marvin L. Hackert (as Immediate Past President); Masaki Takata (re-elected for a 6-year term), Wulf Depmeier, Santiago Garcia-Granda and Radomír Kuzel (Ordinary Members).

[IUCr Executive Committee 2017-2020]

Front row: Alex Ashcroft (IUCr Executive Secretary), Marvin Hackert, Sven Lidin, Hanna Dabkowska, Luc Van Meervelt, Jane Robinson (Administrative Assistant to the Executive Secretary). Back row: Graciela Diaz de Delgado, Masaki Takata, Santiago Garcia-Granda, Radomír Kuzel, Jennifer Martin, Wulf Depmeier.
Posted 01 Sep 2017 

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IUCr bursary case study: Structural and biological study of tin-based complexes against enzymes that propagate cancer

yusof_smallIn 2016 alone, the IUCr sponsored 40 international meetings and schools. One recent recipient of an  IUCr Young Scientist Award reveals the importance of these travel grants to their research and experience.

Cisplatin and its subsequent clinical success generated interest in researchers with regards to the use of metal complexes as anticancer drugs. Cisplatin still plays a major role in treating over 90% of testicular cancer cases and is now one of the most successful anticancer drugs available on the market.

Cisplatin generally interacts with DNA by inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis). Although cisplatin is used in cancer treatment there are side effects such as anemia, diarrhea, alopecia, petechia, fatigue, nephrotoxicity, emetogenesis, ototoxicity and neurotoxicity. This then opened up research areas in synthesizing metal based drugs, including developing tin-based anticancer drugs derived from dithiocarbazate Schiff bases. I have embarked on the structural and biological study of tin-based complexes against four enzymes that propagate cancer: ribonucleotide reductase, thymidylate synthase, thymidylate phosphorylase and topoisomerase II. Sponsorship from the IUCr allowed me to attend the 16th BCA/CCG Intensive Teaching School in X-ray Structure Analysis at Durham U., UK. There, with help from tutors and lecturers, I learned much about the theory behind X-ray crystallography, which enabled me to solve single-crystal X-ray diffraction data while understanding the processes involved. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis allows me to determine the real mode of coordination for docking analysis functions. In addition, I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with front-line researchers in the field of crystallography from different universities. These connections have helped me to view my project from different perspectives and to gain more understanding on how to better apply single-crystal X-ray data to my own work.

Enis Nadia Md Yusof, Department of Chemistry, U. Putra Malaysia, Malaysia
Posted 19 Aug 2017 

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New developments of the symmetry database

viz-1The symmetry database at http://it.iucr.org/resources/symmetrydatabase/ has now been updated and expanded to include a wealth of new data. Information is now available for the Euclidean, chirality-preserving and affine normalizers of the space groups; these aid many crystallographic calculations including the comparison of different but equivalent coordinate descriptions of a crystal structure (and the accompanying changes in structure factors) and the derivation of phase restrictions for use in direct methods, as described in Chapter 3.5 of the new edition of Volume A. For those interested in molecular symmetry and the physical properties of materials, the generators, general and special positions, and Wyckoff positions of the 3D crystallographic point groups are presented and can be transformed to different settings, enhancing and extending the data presented in Chapter 3.2 of Volume A. Users will also enjoy the simple, clear and instructive interactive visualization of the symmetry elements of the crystallographic point groups. Throughout the database, symmetry operations are now presented in four different ways to suit a range of purposes: as x, y, z-based coordinate triplets, in matrix form, by geometric symbols (indicating the type and order of the operations, and the orientation of the corresponding symmetry elements) and in Seitz notation. Site-symmetry groups, whose oriented symbols show how the symmetry elements at a site are related to the symmetry directions of the crystal lattice, are now also listed for the space and point groups.

Posted 09 Aug 2017