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The University of Southampton
Structural BiologyPart of Biological Sciences

Techniques

Seeing atoms isn't easy. Structural biology relies on an arsenal of techniques to gain an insight into the positions of atoms, their dynamics, the conformations they adopt and the interactions they make with their environment without ever seeing a single one.

The principle methods used in structural biology are X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance but these are backed up by an array of additional and essential biophysical methods that provide additional molecular information. Working with academics, students in their final year learn to use the advanced equipment to gain insight into the way proteins, DNA and membranes interact and work.

Identifying the differences in the data from healthy working systems to those observed in disease paves the way to understanding disease at the molecular level and increases the scope for designing a cure.

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