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Protein crystallography in the heart of Europe

What do Walkmuehle near Jena, Luebben near Berlin, Poznan, and Bedrichov in the Czech Republic have in common? They are the sites of past annual Heart of Europe bio-Crystallography (HEC) Meetings, a series, launched in 1998 by Rolf Hilgenfeld and Manfred Weiss. The meetings unite the biocrystallography groups in the region and give young apprentices an opportunity to present and discuss their research. At HEC meetings the podium is reserved for junior participants. Traditionally, there is one invited HEC Lecture. This year, Z. Otwinowski (U. of Texas) spoke about the treatment of errors in processing of X-ray diffraction data. There were 50 participants representing the nine HEC groups (FU Berlin, Charite Berlin, MDC Berlin-Buch, GBF Braunschweig, MLU Halle, IMB Jena, CBB Poznan, IMC Prague, IMG Prague). The HEC family welcomed a new offspring (EMAU Greifswald) led by G. Palm. This year, the First HEC Prize for outstanding presentation (in the form of a book and a certificate) went to Bartholomeus Kuettner (IMB Jena) for his dissection of the structure of alliinase from garlic. The prize, recognized his success as well as his perseverance and determination. The hosts of HEC-4, held September 27-29 in the Jizerske Mountains were J. Sedlacek and his team (R. Stouracova, I. Sieglova, J. Brynda and P. Rezacova) from the Inst. of Molecular Genetics in Prague. HEC-5 will be organized in Goslar near Braunschweig by Dirk Heinz of the German Research Center for Biotechnology (GBF).

Mariusz Jaskolski, Poznan
8 July 2009