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Structure. 1995 Aug 15;3(8):835-44.

High-resolution macromolecular structure determination using CCD detectors and synchrotron radiation.

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Section of Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.



Synchrotron radiation sources have made impressive contributions to macromolecular crystallography. The delay in development of appropriate X-ray detectors has, however, been a significant limitation to their efficient use. New technologies, based on charge-coupled devices (CCDs), provide capabilities for faster, more accurate, automated data collection.


A CCD-based X-ray detector has been developed for use in macromolecular crystallography and has been in operation for about one and a half years at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source. It has been used for a variety of crystallographic projects, including a number of high-resolution structural studies. The statistical quality of the data, the detector's ease and efficiency of use, and the growing number of structural results illustrate the practical utility of this new detector system.


The new detector has enhanced capabilities for measuring diffraction patterns from crystals of macromolecules, especially at high resolution, when the X-ray intensities are weak. The survey of results described here ranges from virus crystallography to weakly diffracting small-molecule structure determination and demonstrates the potential of CCD detectors when combined with synchrotron radiation sources.

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