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At Daresbury SRS

Recent results from beamline 2.1 at the Daresbury SRS suggest the X-ray fiber diffraction can be used as a diagnostic method for the investigation of cancer tumors in breast tissue. The study, which was published by Lewis, et al. (J. Synch. Rad. 7, 348), shows clear differences between fiber diffraction patterns recorded from healthy and diseased breast tissue. These differences are believed to occur as a result of changes in the structural ordering of the collagen within breast carcinogens. Collagen is a major component of the intracellular matrix (ECM) in breast tissue; its degradation is known to be of major importance in the morbidity and mortality of cancer.

Also at Daresbury, Langan, Nishiyama, and Chanzy (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 121 (43), 9940) are using neutron fiber diffraction to study hydrogen bonding in cellulose, one of the most abundant polymers on Earth. The maps clearly show the liable hydrogen atoms involved in the hydrogen bonding and allowed the authors to distinguish between two competing models for cellulose II.

BCA Crystallography News, No. 78