Agustin AvilaSakar has spent nearly his entire career learning about cryo-EM technology. Now, he’s tasked with planning the cryo-EM facility in the new BioEPIC building and understanding how it could help further the tenant groups’ breakthrough research.
A team led by Eva Nogales, senior faculty scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, has produced the first detailed 3D structure of human SAGA, a 20-piece molecular machine that’s crucial to life. The structure, reported in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, revealed some unexpected differences between the human and yeast versions of SAGA and could guide the development of drugs to treat diseases that arise when this complex malfunctions.
In recent years, cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) technology has advanced to the point that it can produce structures with atomic-level resolution for many types of molecules. Yet in some situations, even the most sophisticated cryo-EM methods still generate maps with lower resolution and greater uncertainty than required to tease out the details of complex chemical reactions.
In a study published in Nature Methods, a multi-institutional team led by Tom Terwilliger from the New Mexico Consortium and including researchers from Berkeley Lab demonstrates how a new computer algorithm improves the quality of the 3D molecular structure maps generated with cryo-EM.
A team led by Harald Hess at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Janelia Research Campus and Eric Betzig, a senior faculty scientist in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging (MBIB) Division, has devised a technique that combines cryogenic super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and focused ion beam–milling scanning electron microscopy. In a report in the journal Science, the researchers describe their technique, called cryo-SR/EM, and display some of exquisitely detailed three-dimensional images they captured of the complex innards of cells.
Berkeley Lab scientists have demonstrated for the first time that cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), a Nobel Prize-winning technique originally designed to image proteins in solution, can be adapted to image atomic changes in a synthetic soft material.