Argonne National Laboratory

Scientists see reduction in radiation damage to proteins when a micron-sized X-ray beam is used to collect data

May 1, 2011

Radiation-induced damage to protein crystals limits the maximum achievable spatial resolution, even for cryo-cooled protein crystals. GM/CA CAT researchers have studied the extent of radiation damage as a function of beam size, doing a systematic study that showed that a threefold reduction in radiation damage per calculated dose could be obtained by decreasing the diameter of the X-ray beam size from 20 microns down to 0.8 microns. The sample "lived" three times longer in the X-ray beam with smallest compared to largest beam size studied. More »