A new method for predetermining the diffraction quality of protein crystals: using SOAP as a selection tool.
Owen RL., Garman E.
A microscope for quantitative analysis of the birefringence properties of samples is introduced. The microscope is used to measure variations in the slow optical axis position (SOAP) across hen egg-white lysozyme, glucose isomerase and fibronectin crystals. By comparing these variations with indicators of diffraction quality, it is shown that the optical properties of a protein crystal provide a non-invasive method of determining crystal diffraction quality before any X-ray data collection is attempted.