This EMBO Practical Course will cover the use of small angle scattering (SAS) of both neutrons and X-rays for the determination of the structures of biological macromolecules. Particular attention will be paid to sample preparation and the analysis and interpretation of SAS data in a biological context. The aim of this course is to enable the participants to maximise the information gained from the SAS technique in their future experiments.
Small angle scattering is a powerful technique for determining the structures of biological molecules in solution. Not only can small angle scattering provide precise information concerning the size, molecular weight, volume and shape of single molecules but it can also provide detailed information from large, multi-component macromolecular complexes. For these purposes the scattering properties of neutrons are particularly well suited. Through the use of specific isotope labeling techniques and solvent contrast variation it is possible to determine the structural organisation of specific components within a large macromolecular assembly.
Taking advantage of the location of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) on the same scientific campus in Grenoble, this EMBO course will focus on the complimentary use of X-ray and neutron small angle scattering for the determination of the structures of biological macromolecules. Through the use of lectures, tutorials and practicals it is intended to teach scientists new to the technique how to optimize their experiments to gain the maximum amount of information from these techniques. In particular the EMBO course will focus on:
- Small angle X-ray and neutron scattering theory
- Sample requirements for a successful small angle scattering experiment
- Data analysis, model building and interpretation
- Isotope labelling strategies for small angle neutron scattering
- Analysing small angle scattering in conjunction with data obtained from other techniques (NMR, AUC, EM, SEC-MALLS)