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EWALD: A Macromolecular Diffractometer for the Second Target Station...

by Leighton Coates, Andrii Y Kovalevskyi, Dean A Myles, Jiao Lin
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Review of Scientific Instruments
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Revealing the positions of all the atoms in large macromolecules is powerful but only possible with neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC). Neutrons provide a sensitive and gentle probe for the direct detection of protonation states at near-physiological temperatures and clean of artifacts caused by x rays or electrons. Currently, NMC use is restricted by the requirement for large crystal volumes even at state-of-the-art instruments such as the macromolecular neutron diffractometer at the Spallation Neutron Source. EWALD’s design will break the crystal volume barrier and, thus, open the door for new types of experiments, the study of grand challenge systems, and the more routine use of NMC in biology. EWALD is a single crystal diffractometer capable of collecting data from macromolecular crystals on orders of magnitude smaller than what is currently feasible. The construction of EWALD at the Second Target Station will cause a revolution in NMC by enabling key discoveries in the biological, biomedical, and bioenergy sciences.