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Radiation driven collapse of protein crystals

J. Synchrotron Rad. (2006). 13, 1–7 [doi: 10.1107/S0909049505038811]

[Ring]This paper describes the effects of intense synchrotron radiation beams from the Advanced Photon Source on small ferritin crystals suspended in solution. Typical powder diffraction, shown in the figure, identifies a number of individual crystals within the X-ray beam. After exposures in the range 2×107 Grays, the crystals were found to disintegrate suddenly in a spectacular way, as captured on the JSR cover image. The peak evolution to larger momentum transfer implies that the crystals collapse, possibly due to loss of hydration.
S. Boutet and I. K. Robinson
20 August 2008