The special electron microscope, called Cryo-EM
, freezes objects to almost -300 degrees Fahrenheit and then takes an image of them.
But labs are now racing to adopt the cryo-EM
method, because it can take pictures of proteins that can't easily be formed into large crystals.
Our Krios has become the leader in cryo-EM
for structural biologists seeking to gain new insights into protein structure and function that will lead, ultimately, to a better understanding of the causes of disease and the development of new drugs and vaccines, " said Peter Fruhstorfer, vice president and general manager, life sciences, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
In a second instance of EM technology playing an important role, I spoke with two researchers from the Medical Research Council (UK) who recently used cryo-EM
to reveal, for the first time, the atomic structure of tau filaments, the protein linked to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's and CTE.
Heptares Therapeutics, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation has partnered with four pharmaceutical companies (Astex Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and UCB); the UK Medical research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB); the Nanoscience Centre of the University of Cambridge; and FEI Company, the manufacturer of high performance microscopes, to form the Cambridge-Pharmaceutical Cryo-EM
Consortium, the first of its kind worldwide.
Thanks to a number of innovative hardware and software advances, cryo-EM
has undergone a "resolution revolution" in image quality over the past several years.
After many trials, we successfully developed a cryo-EM
, and then improved the resolution as well as the operational complications of the prototype cryo-EM
and have now developed a 7th generation cryo-EM
, which is equipped with a top-entry tilting specimen stage.
is likely to reveal much more about bacterial "bones," features that were invisible with traditional EM.
Frederickson commented that "some of the systems now that are using the cryo-EM
[cryoelectron microscopy] are actually getting quite good at characterizing the structure of even relatively large proteins and other types of molecular complexes.
, you can look at a material that's fragile and chemically unstable and you can preserve its pristine state - what it looks like in a real battery AaAaAeAe-- and look at it under high resolution.
In fact, this year the company announced its 7th-generation cryo-EM