IUCr activities

IUCr Congress in Geneva ...

[IUCr Congress logo]The XIX IUCr Congress and General Assembly in Geneva (August 6-15, 2002) offers an opportunity to enjoy a full and varied scientific program, meet with industry representatives at the exhibition, and sample a variety of social events - all in the beautiful setting of Geneva.

The daily program is available on the web, with the abstracts online. As of this writing, we have already received close to 1,500 registrations from 48 countries - a truly international event!

Registration is still open for the Pre-Congress workshops on Tuesday, August 6, though space is limited. The Opening Ceremony will take place at the Noga Hilton that evening, with the presentation of the 6th Ewald Award to Professor Michael M. Woolfson who will deliver the Ewald Lecture. A reception will follow, against the beautiful background of Lake Geneva.

The always-popular Student Mixer is scheduled to take place on Thursday, August 8 where the student registrants are invited to dance to dawn at the Liquid Club, courtesy of Oxford Cryosystems. More dancing on Saturday, August 10, when participants will have an opportunity to learn Israeli folk-dancing.

Sunday, August 11 offers everyone a chance to rest from scientific sessions and social events alike with a day free for touring. The scientific program recommences on Monday, August 12 and the social event that evening is a concert by the much-respected Sine Nomine quartet, sponsored by Emerald Biostructures.

Tickets are still available for the Gala Dinner on Wednesday, August 14 and should be reserved in the advance (price US$65). The number of seats is limited! The menu, and all other information can be found at the Congress website.

New news

The IUCr is pleased to announce that the CCDC is again sponsoring three Poster Prizes in chemical crystallography to be awarded at the 2002 Congress. Each CCDC Poster Prize will comprise a commemorative item and a monetary prize of US$350. Further details will be available at the Congress.

COMCIFS Meeting will be held Tuesday, August 13. For further information contact D. Brown, COMCIFS Chairperson (idbrown@mcmaster.ca).
Congratulations to A. Yonath, of The Weizmann Inst. of Science who has been selected to receive the 2002 Israel Prize for Research in Chemistry. Prof. Yonath is speaking at the Congress on August 9 in the Ribosome Symposium.

Workshops

All workshops will take place on Tuesday, August 6 at the Palexpo Conference Centre. Registration for Workshops is additional to Congress registration and the number of places is limited. Registration is on the basis of 'first-come first-served'.

Scattering methods for nanoscale structure characterization

This full day workshop organized by J.D. Barnes and sponsored by IUCr Commission on Small Angle Scattering is designed to acquaint researchers who currently do not practice small-angle scattering with the fundamentals of SAS methods as they are applied to the characterization of such diverse structures as synthetic polymer molecules, protein complexes, alloys and ceramics, composite materials, self-organizing molecular structures, engineering plastics, and microphotonic materials. Workshop instructors will describe the principles of small-angle X-ray and small-angle neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS) and will demonstrate how these principles are applied to the practical elucidation of structure on distance scales ranging from nanometers to some tens of micrometers.

Protein crystal growth

Full day workshop organized by N. Chayen. The aim of this workshop is to present the state of the art in practical methodology for crystal growth of biological macromolecules. Some of the methods are also suitable for the crystallization of small molecules. The workshop will consist of lectures/videos dealing with methods for screening and optimisation of crystallization conditions, including high throughput trials, membrane proteins, new ways of growth in gels, heterogeneous nucleants, etc. It will conclude with a panel of experts who will answer questions from the audience. Questions and comments regarding this workshop should be directed to N. Chayen (n.chayen@ic.ac.uk).

Twinning and the CRYSTALS program

Full day workshop organized by S. Parsons and D. Watkin. For further information: www.xtl.ox.ac.uk.

Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC)

Full day workshop organised by F. Allen and K. Lipscomb. The CCDC Workshop will cover all aspects of the Cambridge Structural Database System, including database searching using ConQuest, structure visualisation using Mercury and data analysis using Vista. The Workshop will also cover other CCDC products, including DASH for structure solution from powder diffraction data, the IsoStar knowledge base of intermolecular interactions, SuperStar and GOLD for investigating protein-ligand interactions and for protein-ligand docking, the Relibase+ database system for analysing experimental (PDB) data on protein-ligand complexes, and the developing enCIFer program for editing CIFs for submission to journals and databases.

Joint open meeting of the commissions on biological macromolecules and journals

A joint meeting of the IUCr Commissions on Biological Macromolecules and Journals has been organized in conjunction with the IUCr Congress to be held in Geneva this coming August. The meeting will be held on Friday August 9 from 12:30 to 14:30 at Palexpo, the principal Congress venue.

The meeting will focus on the challenges macromolecular crystallography faces in the era of high-throughput structure determination resulting from initiatives in a number of countries to fund structural genomics projects. As a result of these and other efforts, the world of macromolecular crystallography faces similar changes to those that confronted chemical 'small molecule' crystallography 25 years ago. These include the verification of structures, deposition of structural data and perhaps most importantly publication of macromolecular structures.

The discussion at the open meeting will be led by short presentations from members of the NIH/Wellcome Trust task forces for structural genomics who have been dealing with these issues for the past several years. Some of the questions that will be addressed include:
Is there a need for enhanced data capture in a PDB deposition? What additional data should be deposited? How do we ensure that deposition guidelines are enforced?

Can we validate structures automatically? How can we assist referees of publications to assess the quality of structures?

Is there a difference between an enhanced deposition and a short paper? Is there still a need for formal publication for all structures in the era of freely available electronic databases?

The editors of Acta Crystallographica will also present their new ideas for publication of macromolecular structures. The meeting will be jointly chaired by John Helliwell, Commission on Journals and Mitchell Guss, Commission on Biological Macromolecules.

The following speakers will make short presentations with generous time for general discussion of the issues raised.

Udo Heinemann. Introduction to 'structural genomics', the ISGO and NIH/Wellcome Trust task forces.

Guy Dodson. 'Short publication' versus 'enhanced deposition' — the pluses and minuses.

Tom Terwilliger. The problems and possible methods for automatic structure validation — the search for a simple indicator of quality.
Helen Berman. Enhancing PDB deposition to capture all the experimental conditions. Automating the deposition process — links with crystallographic software.

Pete Strickland and Jenny Glusker. Managing Editor Acta Crystallographica and Editor of Acta Crystallographica Section D. Rapid publication and Acta.

Mitchell Guss, M.Guss@mmb.usyd.edu.au