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Education and Outreach Programs

Amundsen High School ESRP 2013

Identifying Protein Crystals Using Known Structures


  • Students:
    • Edwin Cervantes
    • Ngan Le
    • Johnson Luu
    • Giovanni Mora
    • Natalia Pacheco
    • Hai Pham
    • Oscar Plata
    • Irma Rodas
    • Stephany Ruiz
    • Lena Sarhan
    • Scott Turton
    • Martha Villegas
  • Teachers:
    • C. Diane Hawist
    • Eman Sarhan
  • Mentors:
    • Kay Perry (Argonne National Laboratory, NE-CAT)
    • David Smith (Argonne National Laboratory, LS-CAT)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 21: LS-CAT; Advanced Photon Source Sector 24: NE-CAT

Bovine insulin was purchased from a commercial supplier. Using commercially available chemicals, well solutions containing polyethylene glycols, a buffer system, and a variety of salts were created and mixed with the protein solution. Crystallization trails were initiated using the hanging drop method in 24 well plates specifically designed for such experiments. After the protein crystals were grown, they were harvested and frozen in liquid nitrogen using a cryogenic solution to prevent ice formation within the crystals. The crystals were then analyzed using the x-rays at NE-CAT to create data sets. These data sets were then processed using a variety of software suites to produce the three dimensional structure of the protein.

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