One of science’s essential tools for understanding the molecules of life has a glitch.
University of Saskatchewan researchers have found that chemicals commonly used to protect samples in synchrotron experiments actually help to damage those samples, potentially misleading scientists around the world.
“Because of this discovery, we have changed the way that we operate in our lab, and we’re hoping to change the way that other people operate,” said Kurt Nienaber, a PhD candidate in the Department of Geological Sciences and lead author on the research.
The findings, published in a recent issue of The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters by researchers from the College of Arts and Science and the College of Medicine, apply to X-ray absorption spectroscopy and protein crystallography: important X-ray-based methods used to understand the structures of molecules.
Read the full story on the College of Arts and Science website.