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International Union of Crystallography

The IUCr is an International Scientific Union adhering to the International Science Council. Its objectives are to promote international cooperation in crystallography and to contribute to all aspects of crystallography, to promote international publication of crystallographic research, to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols, and to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences.

IUCr Newsletter




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2020 edition of IUCr Crystal growing competition cancelled

We are sorry to announce that due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 edition of the IUCr Crystal growing competition has been cancelled. The competition will be back in 2021 so please watch this space!

Posted 11 May 2020 

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Crystallographers unite to tackle coronavirus

With stories about coronavirus dominating the news, it is encouraging to hear that crystallographers around the world are making strong contributions to the efforts to find a vaccine. Here are some that we have heard about. We would be very pleased to hear about more via IUCr social media.

[Jason McLellan Fox News]

At the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, USA, Jason McLellan has used cryo-EM to determine the structure of the coronavirus spike protein. After Chinese scientists released the sequence of the new coronavirus, Dr McLellan and his team engineered a variant of the spike protein to increase its stability and expression for study, and ordered the nucleic acid to be synthesized for the modified spike protein. Within 25 days of receiving the engineered nucleic acid, they cloned the gene, expressed the protein, isolated it, used the UT Austin's cryo-EM facility to determine the structure and submitted their paper to Science, where it has already been published. IUCr Immediate Past President, Marvin Hackert, used the coordinates from Dr McLellan to produce a 3D printed model, which was shown by Dr McLellan on US national news.

Meanwhile, the recent Joint Polish–German Crystallographic Meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, started with a Plenary Lecture by Rolf Hilgenfeld (University of Lübeck, Germany) entitled “From SARS to MERS and the 2020 Wuhan pneumonia virus – How X-ray crystallography can help fight emerging viruses.” Results were presented that had only been obtained that day. More on these stories will be published in the forthcoming issue of the IUCr Newsletter.

IUCr Journals support the policies outlined in the 2016 joint statement on data sharing in public health emergencies, and will ensure that any research findings of relevance are rapidly shared with the World Health Organization. It is recommended that diffraction data related to coronavirus should be deposited as requested in the IUCrJ paper "Findable Accessible Interoperable Re-usable (FAIR) diffraction data are coming to protein crystallography" by J. R. Helliwell, W. Minor, M. S. Weiss, E. F. Garman, R. J. Read, J. Newman, M. J. van Raaij, J. Hajdu and E. N. Baker.

As a resource for coronavirus and COVID-19 research, a virtual issue containing all of the articles and abstracts on coronaviruses published in IUCr journals is available here. Leading this free-to-read collection is a recent Editorial by Ted Baker, written "to applaud the energy and skill of the [SARS-CoV-2] researchers, and their public spirit in sharing their results."

More contributions:

https://www.aps.anl.gov/APS-News/2020-03-02/new-coronavirus-protein-reveals-drug-target/2020-03-02/new-coronavirus-protein

https://www.dailytargum.com/article/2020/03/rutgers-professor-explains-coronavirus-research

https://www.diamond.ac.uk/covid-19.html

https://www.diamond.ac.uk/covid-19/for-scientists/Main-protease-structure-and-XChem.html

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena/pathogens/covid-19 

https://covid-19.bioreproducibility.org/

https://www.ebi.ac.uk/pdbe/covid-19 

  Updated 14 May 2020 
Posted 28 Feb 2020 

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ACA2020 Annual Meeting moves online

[ACA2020]After careful consideration of the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) both overseas and in the USA, and of resultant government actions, the ACA Council has determined that it is not possible to conduct the ACA2020 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA, USA, scheduled for 2-7 August 2020. Furthermore, it is not possible for the ACA to reschedule the meeting to a later date in 2020. However, the ACA is planning to hold a virtual meeting with webinars and possibly posters, to be held in the first week of August 2020.

The new meeting programme is being created and soon an updated list of sessions and workshops will be announced. Please check the ACA Meeting page regularly for updates.

Posted 01 May 2020 

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Melbourne Congress and General Assembly of the IUCr

[IUCr2023 logo]As was recently announced, the Prague Congress and General Assembly has been postponed until August 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was hoped that the Melbourne Congress and General Assembly could be moved from 2023 to 2024, and the organisers were asked to investigate. While the IUCr2023 Local Organising Committee, SCANZ Council and the professional congress organisers were keen to help, they found that the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre was fully booked between July and September 2024, and that the dates that were available were not compatible with university timetables. Furthermore, no viable alternative venues were available during suitable dates. Therefore, the Melbourne Congress and General Assembly will take place in 2023 as originally planned (the proposed dates are 22–29 August), and the quadrennium between Hyderabad and Prague will be followed by a biennium between Prague and Melbourne. Please address any questions to the IUCr Executive Secretary.

Posted 22 Apr 2020 

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IUCr General Assembly postponed until 2021

After consultation with the National Committees for Crystallography, the IUCr Executive Committee has postponed the General Assembly of the IUCr until 2021, when it will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, during the rearranged IUCr Congress. As a result of this, the terms of office for Executive Committee, Commission and Committee members will be extended by a year unless anyone requests to stand down, in which case the Executive Committee will appoint a replacement, or a Commission feels that it is in need of an urgent refresh, in which case it should either make a proposal to the Executive Committee or request that the Executive Committee intervene. Please address correspondence to the IUCr Executive Secretary.

Posted 06 Apr 2020 

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The role of crystallography and other structural science in COVID-19 therapies

[Crystallography and COVID-19]With new cases of COVID-19 climbing steeply across the globe, everyone has an interest in solving COVID-19 challenges, but crystallography has a special role to play. Read an overview about structural science and COVID-19 in a special article from the ACA here.

Posted 02 Apr 2020