By integrating different imaging technologies, biologists are now able to more accurately visualize macromolecules, providing a deeper understanding of cellular function. Using near-atomic-resolution images, IGI Executive Director Jennifer Doudna and fellow UC Berkeley professor, Eva Nogales, deduced how the Cas9 enzyme uncoils DNA formations at specific sites and makes them accessible to CRISPR’s molecular scissors. Many scientists are now combining imaging techniques – including cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging – with which to build on protein crystallographic techniques. However, because not every method works optimally for every protein, nucleic acid or other bio-molecule inside a living cell, scientists must delve deeper in order to understand how all of the different components of the cell function as a unified whole.
Let the structural symphony begin
Nature | Stephen Ornes | August 18, 2016