issue contents

ISSN: 2052-2525

September 2020 issue

Early view articles

Journal cover

research papers


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A large portion of the research community concerned with high data-rate macromolecular crystallography has agreed to an updated specification of data and metadata for diffraction images to be produced at light sources to facilitate the processing of data sets and to enable data archiving according to FAIR principles. Here, the resulting standard is presented.

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In this article, move contrast X-ray imaging (MCXI) based on high-brightness synchrotron radiation is developed. Experiments with live rodents demonstrate the practicability of the MCXI method for sensitive and intact imaging of microvessels in vivo.

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Polarized neutron diffraction on the flipping-ratio technique has been used to determine the spin-density map for the multiferroic compound [NH2(CH3)2][FeIIIFeII(HCOO)6]. The proposed models give an alternative explanation for the origin of the multiferroic behaviour of this compound.

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High-resolution crystal structures of the ADP-ribose phosphatase domain (ADRP; also known as the macrodomain) from SARS-CoV-2 with multiple ligands illustrate how the protein undergoes conformational changes to adapt to the ligand in the manner observed for homologues from other viruses.

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Irradiation of proteins with intense X-ray radiation generates specific structural and chemical alterations, such as metal-ion reduction, reduction of disulfide bonds and decarboxylation reactions. An analysis of a set of disulfide bonds in known structures suggests that the most susceptible disulfide bonds feature a carbonyl O atom positioned along the extension of the S—S bond vector, forming a stabilizing S⋯O interaction, which upon irradiation leads to polarization of the disulfide bond and its eventual reduction.

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The atomic resolution structure of a potassium-selective ion channel reveals a hydrophobic gate that regulates ion permeation.

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In an effort to better understand Plutonian glaciology, the thermal expansion of solid methane and nitrogen have been determined using neutron powder diffraction. Additional results include a resolution of the long-standing dispute over the α-nitrogen crystal structure, and observations of β-nitrogen texture change with temperature.

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Cryo-EM reconstruction of the native Torpedo membrane reveals that cholesterol segregates preferentially around nicotinic acetyl­choline receptors, interacting robustly with specific transmembrane sites and creating a network of bridging microdomains. The microdomains may promote cooperativity between neighbouring receptors, leading to an enhanced postsynaptic response.

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