Scientists discover atomic-resolution details of brain signaling

Slac National Accelerator Laboratory

A protein complex at work in brain signaling. Its structure, which contains joined protein complexes known as SNARE and synaptotagmin-1, is shown in the foreground. The experiments, at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, build upon decades of previous research at Stanford University, Stanford School of Medicine and SLAC. Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Using Crystals, Robotics and X-rays to Advance Neuroscience To study the joined protein structure, researchers in Brunger’s laboratory at the Stanford School of Medicine found a way to grow crystals of the complex. They used a robotic system developed at SSRL to study the crystals at SLAC’s LCLS, an X-ray laser that is one of the brightest sources of X-rays on the planet.

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