Lightsources on May 2014
Applications are now open for one of the most important meetings in 2014 on crystallography of biological macromolecules, the “Latin American Summit Meeting on Biological Crystallography and Complementary Methods”, which will be held between the 22nd and 24th of September at the Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM), in Campinas (SP).
This summit meeting is associated to the official program of the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014), sponsored by UNESCO and the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) in celebration of the centennial discovery of X-ray diffraction, allowing detailed studies on crystalline matter at the atomic level.
The event held in Campinas aims to gather distinguished researchers in the field from Latin-American countries and around the world to evaluate the progress achieved in recent years on crystallography applied to biological phenomena, as well as to pursuit more integration and solutions to bottlenecks that hinder the achievement of competitive scientific research in developing countries.
The meeting’s format proposed by IYCr2014 will also be held in Pakistan and South Africa, with the intention to rally scientific and political communities of these countries in their geographical regions, aiming the improving of crystallography. “The planned presentations will be a showcase of the progress achieved in the field of protein crystallography and correlated areas over the past 25 years,” said Iris Torriani, professor at Unicamp and one of the meeting’s organizers.
About 60 invited researchers will be present in Campinas in order to promote discussions and the opening speech will be taken by the Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2009, Ada Yonath. Born in Israel, Ada was awarded the Nobel Prize as a recognition to her pioneering work on the structure and function of the ribosome that used X-ray crystallography to map the position of the atoms in these structures.
In addition, the summit meeting will also select fifth researchers and students to participate in this event, who may present their work in poster sessions. Applicants should pre-register by April 30th, via the website.
The Latin “Latin American Summit Meeting on Biological Crystallography and Complementary Methods” is organized in association between the CNPEM (Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials), the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory (LNBio), the Physics Institute of São Carlos (IFSC – USP), the and Brazilian Crystallographic Association (ABCr) and the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Venue – Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS)
One milestone in development of Latin American crystallography activities was the creation of the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS) in 1997. As part of CNPEM, the LNLS operates the only synchrotron light source in Latin America, where proposals from Brazilian and foreign researchers can be conducted. Two of the 18 available experimental stations (beamlines) are dedicated to X-ray diffraction for biological macromolecules crystallography. The LNLS offers unique conditions to the progress of this technique in Latin America.
The operation of the LNLS beamlines focused on crystallography is done in partnership with the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory (LNBio), also part of CNPEM. The LNBio is dedicated to research in Biotechnology and drug discovery and meets the necessary skills for crystallization of biological macromolecules – process of obtaining crystals capable of analysis at LNLS.
The Latin American scientific community will soon get reinforcement for researches that rely on synchrotron light. This is because LNLS is building a new synchrotron light source of the latest generation, which will open new experimental possibilities in several areas of research, including crystallography. The structure has the potential to elevate the Latin American countries to a new more competitive level, with cutting-edge scientific research.
The International Year of Crystallography 2014 (IYCr2014) commemorates not only the centennial of X-ray diffraction, which allowed the detailed study of crystalline materials, but also the 400th anniversary of Kepler’s observation in 1611 of the symmetrical form of ice crystals, which began the wider study of the role of symmetry in matter.
Promoted by the International Union of Cristallography (IUCr) in association with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the IYCr2014 will gather more than 50 events around the world, besides special publications, festivals and competitive exhibitions. More information about the IYCr2014 can be found on the IYCr2014 website.