Notes of a Protein Crystallographer: The advantages of combining new integrated methods of structure solution with traditional data visuals

The July 2021 workshop at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) in Chicago was useful to get a refresher course on the latest tools available for Structure Solution/Refinement. However, the lack of more ‘traditional’ visuals guides along the path for structure solution prompted an essay in the series ‘Notes of a Protein Crystallographer’. This essay includes thoughts and ideas that I had for a while, working on projects related to the targets of the Institute of Tuberculosis Research (ITR) at UIC.
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Pseudo precession images of the crystallographic data for an R3 space group crystal showing the h,k,1 and h,k,0 plane (left, right respectively). These images show the value of the traditional precession images to characterize the space group: Left only 3-fold symmetry vs. right 6-fold symmetry. These patterns are diagnostic of the rhombohedral Space Group R3.
The streamlined crystallographic software tools for solving macromolecular crystal structures should be complemented with the visual aids that were used in the past (for example precession images and stereographic projections) to facilitate better understanding of the basic crystallographic concepts by younger aspiring crystallographers.

Notes of a protein crystallographer: the legacy of J.-B. J. Fourier – crystallography, time and beyond

This essay is an example of my writing in matters related to science and its relationship to the Arts, Philosophy and other aspects of human culture.
It is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend from our college days, Prof. Antonio Castellanos Mata who sadly passed away in 2016. You can find more about him in the Crystal Edges blog post Tribute to a Friend.

Notes of a protein crystallographer: the beauty of rose windows and the different meanings of symmetry

The theme of the symmetry of ‘rose windows’ in Gothic cathedrals and its artistic and symbolic meaning is something that has recently awaken my interest as shown by the essay in Acta Cryst D. If you are interested, you can consult, browse and enjoy the website by Painton Cowen: