The end of 'blob-ology': single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is now being used to solve macromolecular structures at high resolution.
Method of the Year 2015
Our choice for Method of the Year 2015 is single-particle cryo-electron microscopy. A collection of articles discusses how recent technical advances, especially the development of direct-detection cameras, have enabled this structural biology technique to make impressive leaps in achievable resolution and, in turn, provide new insights about protein function. We also highlight methods to watch in the upcoming years.
Recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy are enabling researchers to solve protein structures at near-atomic resolutions, expanding the biological applicability of this technique. Michael Eisenstein reports.
A brief overview of how to solve a macromolecular structure using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).
Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has emerged over the last two decades as a technique capable of studying the structure of challenging systems. The author of this Commentary discusses some of the major historical landmarks in cryo-EM that have led to its present success.
Cryo-EM has emerged rapidly as a method for determining high-resolution structures of biological macromolecules. The author of this Commentary discusses just how much better this technology may get and how fast such developments are likely to happen.
Better protein-labeling strategies will improve imaging.
New approaches are needed to see the dynamics of 3D chromatin structure at high resolution and throughput.
Advances in time-resolved crystallography make it possible to follow ever more rapid protein structural changes.
Optogenetic manipulation of neurons at cellular resolution holds promise for the dissection of neural microcircuitry.
Methods for imaging multiple targets in a single cell are breaking the color barrier.
New computational tools learn complex motifs from large sequence data sets.
Methods to systematically map the distribution of proteins in cells are evolving.
Integrated molecular profiles of single cells will provide mechanistic insights into gene regulation and heterogeneity.