Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory faculty scientist Eva Nogales and her team have made a significant breakthrough in our understanding of how our molecular machinery finds the right DNA to copy, showing with unprecedented detail the role of a powerhouse transcription factor known as TFIID. Read more at the Berkeley Lab News Center.
In his blog late last week, NIH Director Francis S. Collins highlighted Cryo-EM Microscopy, the Method of the Year 2015. Collins gave a retrospective analysis of how far the method has come over the past decade, and credits most of the advances to improvements in the technology available, particularly computational methods for image construction and direct electron detectors that can fix the blurring problem caused by molecules moving around in the electron beam. With these and other changes, the number of structures determined using this method have increased substantially in just the past year. Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging’s Robert Glaeser got a shout-out for his Nature Methods commentary, which says that owing to the laws of physics, we can expect more good things.