To study the swiftness of biology – the protein chemistry behind every life function – scientists need to see molecules changing and interacting in unimaginably rapid time increments – trillionths of a second or shorter. Imaging equipment with that kind of speed was finally tested last year at the European X-ray Free-Electron Laser, or EuXFEL. Now, a team of physicists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has completed the facility’s first molecular movie, or “mapping,” of the ultrafast movement of proteins. With this capability, scientists can watch how proteins do their jobs properly – or how their shape-changing goes awry, causing disease.
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