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What good are synchrotrons?

Nobel Laureate physicist Pierre Gilles de Gennes, College de France disparaged the value of synchrotron radiation (Science, Vol 287 P. 1733) saying 'if we are speaking of major unexpected discoveries made during the last 5 years, the result is practically nothing'. In response, Roger Fourme, head of Biology at LURE, provided a list of proteins whose crystal structures were determined using the facility. de Gennes opinion does not appear to be widely shared as new and better synchrotron sources and additional beam lines continue to be added around the globe.