July 16, 2017
New Algorithms Help Extract 3-D Biological Structure from Limited Data
Understanding the 3-D molecular structure of important nanoobjects like proteins and viruses is crucial in biology and medicine. With recent advances in X-ray technology, scientists can now collect diffraction images from individual particles, ultimately allowing researchers to visualize molecules at room temperature.
However, determining 3-D structure from these single-particle diffraction experiments is a significant hurdle. For instance, current data acquisition rates are very limiting, typically resulting in fewer than 10 useful snapshots per minute, limiting the amount of features that can be resolved. Additionally, the images are often highly corrupted with noise and other experimental artifacts, making it difficult to properly interpret the data.