Welcome to the

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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IUCr Executive Committee member honoured

[Jenny M - Wunderly]Congratulations to Professor Jenny Martin, Director of the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia; President of the Asian Crystallographic Association; and member of the IUCr Executive Committee, who was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the Australia Day Honours List. Professor Martin is a renowned protein crystallographer and structural biologist, as well as a former Editor of Acta Cryst. D. Professor Martin has focused on determining the structure of disease-causing proteins so that new drugs can be designed to combat them. Her work in this field was also recognised recently by her election to the Australian Academy of Science, election as an Eminent Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and elevation to Bragg Member of the Royal Institution of Australia. She is a relentless champion for gender equality, as reflected in her being awarded the Wunderly Oration Medal from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (see photo).

Professor Martin AC was overwhelmed by the award and the response (including trending on Twitter in Australia), saying “I was thrilled, humbled and shocked in equal measure. The award of an AC is a rare privilege and I am enormously grateful to whoever nominated me. It’s wonderful recognition of my work, my leadership in crystallography and drug discovery, and the values that I hold dear - excellence, respect, integrity, collegiality and authenticity.”

Additional reading

Griffith University News

ABC National (featured on News breakfast, national news) and online

Courier Mail

Australian Associated Press

Sydney Morning Herald

Australian Academy of Science

Brisbane Times

Posted 15 Feb 2018 

press release

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CryoEM section launched in IUCrJ


IUCrJ, launched by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) in 2014 as an open-access journal publishing high-quality articles across the structural sciences, has included cryoEM since 2015 as part of its biology and medicine section. Recognising the structural biology revolution brought about by cryoEM, the IUCr is pleased to announce a fully dedicated section on cryoEM in IUCrJ. Sriram Subramaniam (NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA) is at the helm as the Main Editor and he, together with Werner Kühlbrandt (MPI, Frankfurt, Germany) and four new Co-editors – Esther Bullitt (Boston University, MA, USA), Lori Passmore (MRC-LMB, Cambridge, UK), Stefan Raunser (MPI, Dortmund, Germany) and Fei Sun (Institute of Biophysics, Beijing, China) – will attract high-quality papers and champion IUCrJ as the natural home for cryoEM results and breakthroughs in instrumentation and methods developments. "Our aim", said Dr Subramaniam, "is to have a long-term impact in structural biology by providing a forum for rapid publication of important results in the cryoEM field."

IUCrJ is the most comprehensive science journal of the IUCr and has already received an impact factor of 5.8. It benefits from fast publication, robust peer review, expert technical editing and, being open access, unlimited readership. Samar Hasnain (Max Perutz Professor of Molecular Biophysics at University of Liverpool, UK), Editor-in-Chief of IUCr Journals, is pleased to launch this dedicated section on cryoEM, which he regards as "the method of the decade for structural biology." Richard Henderson (MRC-LMB, Cambridge, UK), who has been a member of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Board since 2015 and who recently shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jacques Dubochet and Joachim Frank for the development of cryoEM, applauded the move: "As cryoEM increases in power we welcome the broadening of the scope of IUCrJ so that the different methods become more fully integrated."

Posted 30 Jan 2018


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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 

research news

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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 

research news

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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