Public Health Relevance

Chemist with moleculeThe structure of a molecule reveals important information about how it functions and can help scientists identify potential new therapeutic targets for vaccines and drugs to combat diseases and conditions. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is a method used to image frozen biological molecules, such as proteins and nucleic acids, without the need for structure-altering dyes or crystallization. Not only can cryo-EM image molecules in their natural shapes, but it can obtain structures of molecules that were impossible using other methods like X-ray crystallography. Recent advances in cryo-EM methods and technology have greatly extended its resolution and the amount of information it can provide about viruses, proteins, and other important biomolecules.

This page last reviewed on September 25, 2018