Pilot Version of On-line Submission System for Open Access requests to CIISB Core Facilities
So far, all requests for Open Access to CIISB Core facilities required submission of filled paper forms via email. Since January 2020, new on-line submission system offers simplified protocol for submission of requests for open access to all ten CIISB Core Facilities.
6th European Crystallography School in Budapest
Registration to the 6th European Crystallography School to be held in Budapest, Hungary, between 5 and 11 July 2020 is now open.
The Instruct-ERIC Training Programme for 2020 is now online
Every year, Instruct-ERIC organises a programme of training events. These hands-on workshops cover a range of cutting-edge methods in structural biology to enable scientists to expand their expertise and implement new techniques in their research. Instruct training courses are delivered by world-renowned experts.
EU invests 10 million euro in unlocking technologies for key research in structural biology
To enable researchers from European institutes to extend innovative structural biology research, the EU has invested 10 million euro to iNEXT-Discovery, through its Horizon 2020 program.
EMBL has become a member of Instruct-ERIC
European Molecular Laboratory (EMBL) is a pioneering research institution and Europe's flagship laboratory for the life science. Funded by public research funds from its member countries, the EMBL is involved in molecular biology resarch, training and services.
Newsletter of Large Research Infrastructure of the Czech Republic agenda
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has published a newsletter on the agenda of large research infrastructures where you can find the most important news of the last three months in this area.
UP CIISB Kick-Off Meeting, Monday, December 2, 2019
UP CIISB Kick-Off Meeting will gather the CIISB Core Facility Heads, Executive Committee members, and administration staff of CEITEC and BIOCEV to discuss the starting OP VVV investment project UP CIISB.
Petr Sedmera Prize 2020 - Call for Nominations Announced
The Petr Sedmera Prize is awarded for best published work in the field of nuclear magnetic resonance and is dedicated to the memory of a leading expert who has been instrumental in the development of NMR in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.
Reader's Corner Archive
A standardized citation metrics author database annotated for scientific field
Citation metrics are widely used and misused. John P. A. Ioannidis et. al. created a publicly available data-base of 100,000 top scientists that provides standardized information on citations, h-index, co-authorship-adjusted hm-index, citations to papers in different authorship positions, and a composite indicator. Separate data are shown for career-long and single-year impact. Metrics with and without self-citations and ratio of citations to citing papers are given. Scientists are classified into 22 scientific fields and 176 subfields. Field- and subfield-specific percentiles are also provided for all scientists who have published at least five papers. Career-long data are updated to end of 2017 and to end of 2018 for comparison.
How structure informs and transforms chemogenetics
Chemogenetic technologies such as Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) are widely used to remotely control neuronal and non-neuronal signaling. DREADDs exist for most of the canonical G protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways, and provide a synthetic biology platform useful for elucidating the role of neuronal signaling for brain function. Here, Bryan L. Roth presents a focused review that shows how recent insights obtained from GPCR structural studies inform our understanding of these chemogenetic tools from a structural perspective.
Emerging structural insights into glycosyltransferase-mediated synthesis of glycans
Glycans linked to proteins and lipids play key roles in biology; thus, accurate replication of cellular glycans is crucial for maintaining function following cell division. Several recent crystal structures of glycosyltransferases with bound acceptor substrates reveal that these enzymes have common core structures that function as scaffolds upon which variable loops are inserted to confer substrate specificity and correctly orient the nucleophilic hydroxyl group. K. W. Moremen and R. S. Haltiwanger in Nature Chemical Biology review argue that the varied approaches for acceptor binding site assembly suggest that an ongoing evolution of these loop regions provides templates for assembly of the diverse glycan structures observed in biology.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases as therapeutic targets
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are essential enzymes for protein synthesis with evolutionarily conserved enzymatic mechanisms. Recent genomic, proteomic and functionomic advances have unveiled unexpected disease-associated mutations and altered expression, secretion and interactions in human ARSs, revealing hidden biological functions beyond their catalytic roles in protein synthesis. These studies have also brought to light their potential as a rich and unexplored source for new therapeutic targets and agents through multiple avenues, including direct targeting of the catalytic sites, controlling disease-associated protein–protein interactions and developing novel biologics from the secreted ARS proteins or their parts. Sunghoon Kim et. al. in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery address the emerging biology and therapeutic applications of human ARSs in diseases including autoimmune and rare diseases, and cancer.
Atomic Force Microscopy Based Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Biology
Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), one of the burgeoning probing techniques, can provide not only the topography characterization with high resolution, but also can deliver the chemical or molecular information of a sample beyond the optical diffraction limitation. In this review, Bo Liu et. al. mainly focus on the applications of AFM-TERS in three biological systems: nucleic acids, proteins and pathogens. From the TERS characterization to the data analysis, this review demonstrates that AFM-TERS has great potential applications to visually characterizing the biomolecular structure and crucially detecting more nano-chemical information of biological systems.
Compressive Force Spectroscopy: From Living Cells to Single Proteins
One of the most successful applications of atomic force microscopy (AFM) in biology involves monitoring the effect of force on single biological molecules, often referred to as force spectroscopy. A less recognized variation of this method, the application of compressive force, allows studies from large samples (living cells) to smaller, multi-molecular complexes (viruses) down to single protein molecules. These studies have enabled the detailed characterization of individual cell states, subtle differences between seemingly identical viral structures, as well as the quantification of rate constants of functionally important, structural transitions in single proteins. Here, Daniel Mark Czajkowsky et. al. briefly review some of the recent achievements and highlight exciting areas of its future development.
RNA Dynamics by NMR Spectroscopy
To reveal dynamic processes and higher energy structures, new NMR methods have been developed to elucidate dynamics in RNA with atomic resolution. In this review, Katja Petzold et. al. provide an introduction to dynamics novices and an overview of methods that access most dynamic timescales, from picoseconds to hours.
How Good Can Single-Particle Cryo-EM Become? What Remains Before It Approaches Its Physical Limits?
Impressive though the achievements of single-particle cryo–electron microscopy are today, a substantial gap still remains between what is currently accomplished and what is theoretically possible. As is reviewed by Robert M. Glaeser, twofold or more improvements are possible as regards (a) the detective quantum efficiency of cameras at high resolution, (b) converting phase modulations to intensity modulations in the image, and (c) recovering the full amount of high-resolution signal in the presence of beam-induced motion of the specimen. In addition, potential for improvement is reviewed for other topics such as optimal choice of electron energy, use of aberration correctors, and quantum metrology. With the help of such improvements, it does not seem to be too much to imagine that determining the structural basis for every aspect of catalytic control, signaling, and regulation, in any type of cell of interest, could easily be accelerated fivefold or more.