Regional news

Notes from Australia

Australian Synchrotron Research Program (ASRP)

The expansion of the ASRP into the Advanced Radiation Source (APS) in Chicago now gives Australian researchers access to third generation synchrotron radiation. Visit the following web sites for more information: • - for an overview of the ASRP

  • - for an overview of the APS in Chicago and links to all its CATs
  • - overview ChemMatCARS CAT
  • - overview BioCARS CAT
  • - overview SRI-CAT

ChemMatCARS is devoted to the study of chemistry and materials science.

  • Single crystal crystallography,
  • High energy resolution XAFS,
  • Static and time-dependent reflectometry on liquid and solid surfaces,
  • Static and time-dependent small and wide angle X-ray scattering (SAXS /WAXS) on liquids and 'soft' solids such as polymers and fibers.

BioCARS has three separate beam lines devoted to protein and virus crystallography: SRI-CAT (Sectors 1 to 4) for (1) Time resolved, high-energy X-ray, and high heat load studies; (2) X-ray microprobe, high-resolution soft X-ray spectroscopy, and deep X-ray lithography; (3) Inelastic X-ray and nuclear resonant scattering studies; and (4) Polarization/magnetic studies.

Curtin U. of Technology, Dept of Applied Physics

The crystallographic laboratory is one of the principal facilities of the Curtin Materials Research Group which specializes in industry-directed research. Principal focus is upon Rietveld analysis and the development of procedures to measure absolute phase abundance, texture, strain, crystallite size, etc. Extensive use is made of neutrons (MRPD and HRPD powder instruments at Lucas Heights), and synchrotron radiation (BIGDIFF at the Photon Factory, Tsukuba, Japan) to supplement laboratory-based Xray diffraction measurements.

More structural biology at St. Vincent's

Study of Structural Biology at St. Vincent's Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia was expanded in 1997 following the Wellcome Trust-supported appointment of Bostjan Kobe as Head. The focus of the Lab are studies of macromolecular interactions, using a combination of protein chemistry, molecular biology, the biosensor and computational approaches, in addition to macromolecular crystallography. The biological areas under study include regulation of protein function, viral infection, cellular transport processes and protein-protein interactions. Recent research highlights include the determination of crystal structures of the autoregulated proteins phenylalanine hydroxylase, importin α, and the HTLV-1 virus envelope glycoprotein gp21 as a chimera with maltose binding protein. A portion of equipment was set up through the efforts of Michael Parker and Bruce Kemp. Some facilities are shared between the Structural Biology Unit and the Ian Potter Foundation Protein Crystallography Unit headed by M. Parker.

Bostjan Kobe