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25. Hermann Staudinger Lecture: "Visualization of Biomolecules in their Native States"

Nobelpreisträger Joachim Frank (Columbia University, New York, USA), 02.07.2018

For decades, structure determination of biological molecules has been dominated by X-ray crystallography, a technique which requires highly ordered crystals and usually depicts the molecule in a single conformation that is not necessarily relevant for its function.  In contrast, single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is able to depict the molecule in all naturally occurring states and requires no crystals.  Since around 2013, with the arrival of direct electron detecting cameras, near-atomic resolution (2-4 Å) is routinely achieved.  A few examples illustrate that the impact of these new developments on biological knowledge and the future of Molecular Medicine will be substantial.