New software makes 3D imaging accessible

Open-source software allows standard microscopes to accurately image 3D structures

A 2D dataset reconstructed to show the protein's 3D quality, using the newly developed software
New software allows 3D structures to be viewed using a 2D dataset. The software allows a different orientation to be robustly reconstructed, showing the 3D aspect of this structure. IMAGE: EMBL/Yiming Li

Structures inside cells, such as the nucleus and its proteins, are three dimensional. Yet scientists have often had to study such structures in 2D, because appropriately equipping microscopes was technically challenging and expensive. Jonas Ries, alongside his team and collaborators, have now published a paper in Nature Methods, showcasing their open-source 3D imaging software. This technology is used alongside standard microscopes, to capture high-quality images of 3D structures and reconstruct them in real-time, allowing more scientists to access robust 3D imaging techniques.

Tags: Cell biology, Heidelberg, Methods, microscopy

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Scientists at EMBL Hamburg use specially designed mirrors to reflect and focus X-ray beams onto tiny crystals made of proteins or other biological molecules.

By  Dorota Badowska

Two X-ray mirrors installed in the macromolecular crystallography beamline P14 at EMBL Hamburg. The mirrors are visible in the photo as dark rectangular crystal blocks, with two metal holders supporting the crystals in a stress-free position. The mirrors are inserted into a vacuum-compatible stainless steel vessel.


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