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Posted: Feb 23, 2012
Access to structural biology hightech infrastructure all over Europe
(Nanowerk News) Making the most advanced technologies available to researchers all over Europe is the goal of the initiative "Instruct". Fifteen research institutes from eight countries have launched this cooperation today in Brussels. Many more are supposed to follow and further broaden the shared technological basis. The HZI and four other German institutes are part of this alliance.
Instruct's main focus is structural biology, a scientific discipline aiming to resolve the three-dimensional structure of biological molecules. The structure provides important insights into the biological function of these molecules, which in turn may lead to new concepts in understanding and fighting diseases.
Instruct provides access to some of the most advanced technology in the world, such as sample preparation for cryo-electron tomography using ion beam milling housed at the Max Planck Institute Martinsried in Germany and the automated system for mammalian expression housed at Oxford in the UK, both of which are at the frontier of current technology.
The central hub of the Instruct network is the website www.structuralbiology.eu. This platform provides access to high-end technologies which most single research groups could not afford. Examples are highly specialized cell culture methods for protein expression housed at the HZI as well as newest imaging technologies like cryo-electron tomography or the use of electron accelerators for the analysis of molecular structures.