How x-ray diffraction with synchrotron radiation got started

The need to record low angle scattering x-ray fibre diagrams from muscle with milli-second time resolution drove the use of synchrotron radiation as an x-ray light source. The first smudgy diffraction patterns were obtained from a slice of insect flight muscle. Out of this grew the EMBL Outstation at DESY.

It would not have been possible without synchrotron light

Thus we see that one of the most important puzzles of biology, the basis of animal movement, which originated as a research project with the Alexandrian school in the third century BC has yielded many of its secrets to a structural and physico-chemical analysis. It is noteworthy that this could not have happened without synchrotron radiation sources. Moreover, this project opened up one of the most important uses of synchrotron radiation yet discovered, namely its use as an x-ray diffraction a source for protein structure determination.

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