GE3C Webinar: "Molecular movies of biomolecules "in action" with X-ray Free Electron Lasers" by Petra Fromme, Arizona State University, USA
Exceptionally brilliant, femtosecond-pulsed X-ray sources, the X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs), have brought a new way of conducting crystallography by probing nano/micrometre-sized crystals in a serial fashion. Since the first XFEL, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), started operation in 2009, the serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) technique has opened up a new era in structural biology with new and exciting opportunities for the determination of static structures as well as the structural dynamics of macromolecules. In addition to XFELs, the serial crystallography approach can also be done at synchrotrons sources and have gained popularity in the past few years up to the point that it can now be a viable alternative to scarce X-ray free electron laser sources. Monochromatic and pink beam experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of serial data collection using micro-crystals at numerous microfocus beamlines at the most powerful synchrotron radiation sources in the world. Upcoming developments in beamline optics, detector technology and synchrotron sources by itself will enable the use of even smaller micro-crystals, the use of larger macromolecules as well as the possibility of conducting mix-and-inject time-resolved studies. In my talk, I will be presenting the greatest advances and exciting discoveries in the past decade in the emerging technology of SFX at XFELs as well as outline the frontiers of this technology at synchrotron radiation sources.