Editorial

Editorial

This issue contains reports for all of the microsymposia on High Pressure Crystallography from the Glasgow IUCr Congress. The reports were collected and edited by Commission Chair Richard Nelmes. Richard organized the High Pressure sessions at the IUCr Congresses in Seattle and Glasgow with great care from the planning process right through execution and preparation of final reports setting a standard that other commission chairs may want to emulate.

[scallop myosin subfragment 1] Scallop myosin subfragment 1 in three different conformational states (adapted from Houdusse, A., Szent-Gyorgyi, A.G., and Cohen, C.) (submitted for publication).
In February 2000 Carolyn Cohen received the Elizabeth Roberts Cole Award from the Biophysical Society for her significant contributions to the understanding of the structural basis for the biological activity of proteins involved in motility. In her address Carolyn made some cogent observations concerning the disparity between traditional hypothesis-based exploration of the structural basis for molecular function and 'new wave' structural genomics. Carolyn agreed to have her remarks printed in this issue of the IUCr Newsletter. When I attended Anne Houdusse's talk at the Glasgow IUCr meeting on Scallop S1.ADP, one of the myosin structures that Carolyn and Anne have analyzed together (in collaboration with Andrew Szent-Gyorgyi), I requested a copy of one of her illustrations for use on a newsletter cover. Patricia Coley took Anne's beautiful illustration and developed the cover for this issue.

The cover has a number of possible interpretations. The Cohen/ Houdusse structures upon which it is based exemplifies the value of studying the same molecule under different conditions to understand its capabilities and correlate changes with molecular function. The replication of many copies of the structure on the cover alludes to the evolution of families of proteins. The march of the molecules can be seen as robotic movement of molecular lemmings. It suggests the mind-numbing prospect of structure for the sake of structure with biochemists and crystallographers potentially so overwhelmed with new structural information that they haven't the time or ability to think about the meaning or functions of structures in any significant and thoughtful way.

I have been gathering material related to the role of crystallography in the genome project for over two years. On pages 18-20, we have reprinted Carolyn Cohen's remarks, along with my observations and those of others on the challenge of structural genomics.

Bill Duax