Radiation Damage in Macromolecular Crystallography.
Garman EF., Weik M.
Radiation damage inflicted on macromolecular crystals during X-ray diffraction experiments remains a limiting factor for structure solution, even when samples are cooled to cryotemperatures (~100 K). Efforts to establish mitigation strategies are ongoing and various approaches, summarized below, have been investigated over the last 15 years, resulting in a deeper understanding of the physical and chemical factors affecting damage rates. The recent advent of X-ray free electron lasers permits "diffraction-before-destruction" by providing highly brilliant and short (a few tens of fs) X-ray pulses. New fourth generation synchrotron sources now coming on line with higher X-ray flux densities than those available from third generation synchrotrons will bring the issue of radiation damage once more to the fore for structural biologists.