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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Philip Coppens (1930-2017) 

coppens2017It is with great sadness that we report that Professor Philip Coppens passed away on 21 June 2017.

Philip retired from the University of Buffalo last autumn, but retained a lab at the University and was still actively engaged in research. He was a pioneer in crystallography and was awarded the seventh Ewald prize by the IUCr in 2005. This was for his contributions to developing the fields of electron density determination and the crystallography of molecular excited states, and for his contributions to the education and inspiration of young crystallographers as an enthusiastic teacher by participating in and organizing many courses and workshops.


He will be remembered for his dedication and service to the IUCr and its journals. He was a member of the IUCr Executive Committee from 1987 to 1999, and was President of the Union from 1993 to 1996. He played a fundamental role in encouraging the development of electronic journals at the IUCr and also in the early days of the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation when it was not clear how important Synchrotron Radiation would become to Crystallography. He also acted as a Co-editor on Acta Crystallographica Section A and on the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation. A full obituary will be published in due course.

Posted 26 Jun 2017 


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IUCr Webinar: Formulation of the MORPHEUS protein crystallization screens

fabrice-home2Our next webinar Formulation of the MORPHEUS protein crystallization screens, by Dr Fabrice Gorrec, LMB, Cambridge, UK takes place on Tuesday 27 June 2017 at 4:00 PM BST.

To find out more information and to register please follow this link:


Advances in macromolecular X-ray crystallography depends upon solving structures from samples containing purified and concentrated protein, DNA, RNA, and their complexes. Novel samples are however increasingly challenging to produce and crystallize hence innovations which enhance the process of structure determination are urgently required, especially to increase the yield of quality diffraction crystals.

Experienced researchers from related fields, students and non-experts alike will find this webinar essential as it provides both theoretical and experimental evidence-based aspects of macromolecular X-ray crystallography.

Attendees will leave with a better understanding about the underlying reasons why it is necessary to formulate novel crystallization screens with relatively complex conditions, such as the ones found in the MORPHEUS screens.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

A recording of our earlier event Is the X-ray diffraction theory we use correct? by Dr Paul Fewster is now available on the IUCr YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sH-6-qwTj0

View the questions and answers discussed during the event here.

Download Paul's papers associated with the webinar by following these links
P. F. Fewster (2014). Acta Cryst. A70, 257-282
P. F. Fewster (2016). Acta Cryst. A72, 50-54

If you have any questions about either event please do not hesitate to contact Dr Jonathan Agbenyega, Business Development Manager, IUCr at ja@iucr.org
Posted 19 Jun 2017 


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IUCr Associates Programme

IUCrAssociates_right_squareThe IUCr is excited to announce its new, voluntary Associates Programme. This will launch 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 pre-launch 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 before the launch in August 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 09 Mar 2017 


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2016 IUCr impact factor results

alljournals2017_400pxThe 2016 impact factors have been released by Clarivate Analytics. We are pleased to announce that IUCr Journals now occupy the top three positions in the Crystallography category.

The impact factors of other journals also increased significantly:

The Editor-in-chief of IUCr Journals, Professor Samar Hasnain commented,

"We thank our authors, reviewers and over 200 editors and co-editors for their continued commitment to ensuring that the best crystallographic science is reported in IUCr Journals. We are particularly indebted to our authors who continue to place their trust in IUCr journals. We look forward to building on this success and working towards further improvements in our impact and influence."

For more details, see http://journals.iucr.org/services/impactfactors.html

Posted 16 Jun 2017 


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Special issue on high-resolution X-ray diffraction and imaging

The latest virtual special issue of Journal of Applied Crystallography with Guest Editors Virginie Chamard (Institute Fresnel) and Václav Holý (Charles University in Prague) http://journals.iucr.org/special_issues/2017/xtop2016/ features a selection of original contributions from the 13th Biennial Conference on High-Resolution X-ray Diffraction and Imaging (XTOP 2016), which was held in Brno, Czech Republic, in September 2016. The topics of the published articles (all of which are open access) cover the broad spectrum of problems discussed during the conference, highlighting in particular four specific X-ray techniques: X-ray Bragg diffraction, small-angle scattering and reflectivity, X-ray diffraction imaging, and coherent (phase-sensitive) X-ray imaging.

In the Bragg diffraction group, the articles are devoted to high-resolution diffraction from thin layers, diffraction from surface acoustic waves, diffraction from protein crystals and X-ray diffraction theory.

Small-angle scattering is represented by articles dealing with ultra-small-angle scattering from precipitates in metallic alloys and X-ray reflection imaging.

The X-ray diffraction imaging papers present the application of X-ray topography techniques to various types of samples, such as silicon dies in integrated circuit packages, synthetic diamond crystals and subsurface layers in semiconductor epitaxial layers, as well as a report on how X-ray diffraction was combined with a scanning mode to investigate ferroelectric domains in epitaxial layers.

Coherent (phase-sensitive) X-ray imaging is presented in articles focused on the investigation of the near-field wavefront produced by a waveguide, on the issue of resolution in holographic and coherent diffraction imaging, and on the coherent imaging of a single semiconductor nanorod.

Posted 14 Jun 2017 


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Introducing the Proceedings of the CCP-EM Spring Symposium

The Proceedings of the CCP-EM Spring Symposium have been published in Acta Crystallographica Section D: Structural Biology http://journals.iucr.org/d/issues/2017/06/00/index.html. The symposium is an annual conference which aims to review and highlight state-of-the-art developments in macromolecular cyro-electron microscopy in an accessible and convivial manner.

Cryo-EM is currently in a golden age: multiple, symbiotic improvements in instrumentation technology have resulted in vastly improved signal-to-noise allowing a step-change in resolution and scale. Indeed such is the pace of development that the term “resolution revolution”, first coined in 2014, is fast becoming a cliché. This has propelled cyro-EM into the mainstream, evidenced by the exponential rise in the number of EM-derived structures deposited in the PDB and attracting high numbers of new researchers into the field. These new methods have opened a rich tranche of new biological systems to explore, including those that were well hidden from the bright light of other structural biology disciplines. As such, in this symposium the organisers focused on emerging methods – the how, and highlight applications – the why.

The sharp increase in PDB models and experimental map depositions in the EMDB is quantified in the article from Ardan Patwardhan [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 503-508]. Arising from that is the popularity of the RELION software package for single particle reconstruction (SPR), described by authors Schores Scheres and Rafael Fernanadez-Leiro [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 496-502].

An article by Tom Burnley et al. [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 469-477] introduces the CCP-EM software suite, connecting multiple tools for the docking, refinement and validation of such structures. It should be noted that the “revolution” is by no means limited to SPR only. The same hardware improvements produce evermore detailed tomograms and Daniel Castano-Diez [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 478-487] describes the use of the Dynamo software package for subtomogram averaging. Of course these works hinge on the availability of experimental data and this, in turn, relies on the accessibility of high-end instrumentation. Daniel Clare et al. [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 488-495] describe the first year of operation at the Electron Bio-Imaging Centre, the national UK facility.

The availability of high–resolution maps has shown the potential of using SPR as a tool for structure-based inhibitor design and sparked industrial interest in the technique, and its application is expected to be important in the coming years. Articles from Shawn Rawson et al. [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 534-540] and Edward Morris and Paula da Fonseca [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 522-533] both provide reviews on this subject. Allesandro Costa and Marcus Wilson [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 541-548] review the application of cryo-EM to chromatin, highlighting where new techniques can provide more detail on important biological systems. The work on ribosome machinery presented by Abid Javed et al. [(2017). Acta Cryst. D73, 509-521] highlights the complementary techniques available to researchers.

CCP-EM would like to thank MRC for their funding and support. CCP-EM would also like to thank the authors for their contributions to this first edition along with thanking the editors of this issue Tom Burnley, Paula da Fonseca and Randy Read. The methods and applications presented are a glimpse of what can be expected in the coming years for cryo-EM. We hope to be able to present and document these exciting developments for many more years with the Acta Crystallographica Section D Proceedings of the CCP-EM Spring Symposium.

Posted 07 Jun 2017