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Human Genome News Archive Edition

Human Genome Quarterly, Summer 1989; 1(2)

X-Ray Microimaging for the Life Sciences Workshop

Cellular and Subcellular Level Imaging Thought Possible in Next Five Years
The X-Ray Microimaging for the Life Sciences Workshop brought together the physical and biological science communities to discuss research opportunities afforded by new high-intensity, high-brightness, coherent X-ray sources, as well as by both advanced synchrotron and X-ray lasers.

Held in Berkeley, California, on May 24-26, 1989, and sponsored through the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the workshop was attended by over 100 scientists. Workshop emphasis was on direct imaging, at spatial resolutions not previously possible, of biological materials in their natural state.

In general, the conferees were optimistic that imaging native structures at the cellular and subcellular levels with X-rays at resolutions as good as 100 Å should become possible within the next 5 years. Although imaging at the molecular level (10 Å resolution) was considered to be further off, Charles Rhodes did present a scheme for imaging and sequencing DNA by Fourier transform X-ray holography. According to Rhodes, a feasibility study on this technique will start soon.

Included in the workshop were some 30 oral and poster presentations covering the characteristics of new light sources, X-ray microscopy, X-ray holography, and other direct X-ray imaging techniques. The limitations of these techniques, due to radiation damage to the biological samples, were considered. Researchers are seeking to recognize this damage and to prevent or limit it.

Completing the picture were discussions on state-of-the-art technologies in optical microscopy, electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and scanning tunneling microscopy. Three-dimensional microscopic photos were included in the presentations.

Two preconference tutorials on biological structure were special features of the workshop for participants who did not have a background in the life sciences; the early morning classes were well attended.


Workshop proceedings, consisting of extended abstracts, will be available later this year from:

  • National Technical Information Service
    703-487-4600

Submitted by: Gerald Goldstein, Acting Director
Physical and Technological Research Division
Office of Health and Environmental Research
U.S. Department of Energy

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Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy, Human Genome News (v1n2).

Human Genome Project 1990–2003

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international 13-year effort, 1990 to 2003. Primary goals were to discover the complete set of human genes and make them accessible for further biological study, and determine the complete sequence of DNA bases in the human genome. See Timeline for more HGP history.

Human Genome News

Published from 1989 until 2002, this newsletter facilitated HGP communication, helped prevent duplication of research effort, and informed persons interested in genome research.