New method enables discovery of 3D structures for molecules

Researchers have overcome a long-standing technical barrier to imaging 3D structures of thousands of molecules important to medicine and biology.
The 3D structures of many protein molecules have been discovered using a technique called X-ray crystallography, but the method relies on scientists being able to produce highly ordered crystals containing the protein molecules in a regular arrangement. When X-rays are shone on highly ordered crystals, the X-rays scatter and produce regular patterns of spots called Bragg peaks . High-quality Bragg peaks contain the information to produce high-resolution 3D structures of proteins.