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The synthetic protein chignolin reconstructed from 72,000 diffraction patterns of unknown orientation, each with a mean photon count of 4x10-2 per pixel

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Reconstructing Molecular Structure

  Department of Physics

Free electron lasers capable of generating intense bursts of coherent X-rays promise unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution in the study of the microstructure and dynamics of materials. Using a new algorithm, the structure of a molecule can be calculated from the faintest of diffraction patterns, produced by arbitrarily oriented individual molecules dropped one by one into a free electron laser's beam. Article p64; News & Views p17

Text Box: About the cover
January 2009 Volume 5 No 1