Editorial

Distribution 2012

[William L. Duax] William L. Duax

In order to expedite timely delivery of the IUCr Newsletter, we have begun to convert to electronic distribution. We must achieve total e-mail delivery to individuals with the first issue of Volume 20. If you wish to continue to receive the Newsletter it is essential that we have your e-mail address. If you are already listed in the World Directory of Crystallography (WDC) please check and update your entry if necessary. If you are not already listed in the WDC, please register now. If you do not wish to be listed in the WDC, but wish to continue to receive the Newsletter, please subscribe at www.iucr.org/news/newsletter/request.

Hard copies of the Newsletter will continue to be sent to college and university libraries so that the broad scientific community is alerted to recent advances in crystallographic technology, instrumentation and applications. If your college or university's library does not currently receive the Newsletter we invite you to register it at www.iucr.org/news/newsletter/request.

This issue contains the third installment of crystallography in South-Eastern Europe. We greatly appreciate the time and energy Panče Naumov put into gathering together all of the articles on crystallography in that region of the world. A similar article on crystallography in the Middle East would be very welcome. Many countries in the union have yet to be the subject of a special issue of the Newsletter. Missing countries include France, Germany, China and the USA. If you are working in X-ray crystallography in a country (large or small) that has not been profiled in the Newsletter and are interested in gathering suitable material we would be pleased to hear from you and assist you in undertaking the project.

The articles offer insight as to how future applications could benefit the economy in different parts of the world. In most countries in Europe a few scientists began to use the powerful new technique of crystallography nearly 100 years ago to determine the structures of matter. Early studies of minerals and inorganic materials evolved into studies of natural and synthetic organic molecules. War and economic hardships hindered acquisition of instruments and computational facilities, slowing the growth and development of the field in many countries. Economic recovery presents new opportunities for crystallographic analysis of macromolecules and natural products to foster design of profitable pharmaceutical compounds in many of these countries.

The power of crystallographers to identify the active ingredients in folk medicines suitable for pharmaceutical and biomedical application remains largely untapped. The Ruder Boškovic Inst. (RBI) provided a fine example of this type of work in South-Eastern Europe. The RBI was the result of government action to foster collaboration between academia and industry. There has been relatively recent flowering of macromolecular crystallographic programs in Greece. There are many countries that might well benefit from similar initiatives.

William L. Duax