The Crystallographer’s Assistant

Vanathi Gopalakrishnan, Daniel Hennessy, Bruce Buchanan, Devika Subramanian

The only routinely used technique available today for obtaining the 3-D structure of a protein or DNA molecule is by X-ray diffracting a crystal of the macromolecule. The rate limiting step in structure determination is the process of growing a crystal of the macromolecule. This process is not very well understood, and can take a few weeks to several years. Crystallographers, therefore, are in great need of tools to aid them in the process of designing and performing experiments. There is a great deal of experiential data in this domain, in the form of scientific notebooks with graphical and textual representations of previous experiments.

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