Time-resolved X-ray crystallography
We are working with Prof Arwen Pearson (Universität Hamburg) to develop a range of new approaches to the time-resolved study of protein and enzyme function. We want to study the motions of proteins as they catalyse reaction with both high temporal and spatial resolution. Arwen and Briony Yorke have just reported their work in this area to apply the Hadamard transform to crystallographic data. This approach is just one of the technical approaches that can be applied to this challenging problem. Diana in the group is working with the Pearson and Warriner groups to develop a suite of chemical tools which will be able to be generally applied to this challenging problem.
Applications of nanodiscs
Nanodiscs are small protein-stabilised lipid discs which can be used to solubilise and stabilise membrane proteins. We are currently working with Paul Beales to understand the properties of these complex assemblies and how they interact with small molecules and biological systems.
Role of biological material in the atmosphere
For the last four years, we have worked with Dr Ben Murray (Leeds, SOEE) to establish the role of microorganisms and biological macromolecules in ice-nucleation in the atmosphere. Ice-nucleation above the homogenous freezing point of water is critical to the formation of ice in clouds, such ice formation then leads directly to precipitation. Understanding how different atmospheric constituents perturb this process is therefore critical to our understanding of when and where it rains with global implications for food security and climate change.
Publications in this area
The relevance of nanoscale biological fragments for ice nucleation in clouds
Daniel O'Sullivan, Benjamin J. Murray, James F. Ross, Tom F. Whale, Hannah C. Price, James D. Atkinson, Nsikanabasi S. Umo & Michael E Webb Sci. Rep. (2015) 5 8082
Ice nucleation by soil dusts: relative importance of mineral dust and biogenic components
D. O'Sullivan, B. J. Murray, T. L. Malkin, T. Whale, N. S. Umo, J. D. Atkinson, H. C. Price, K. J. Baustian, J. Browse, and M. E. Webb Atmos. Chem. Phys. (2014) 4 1853-1867
Ice nucleation by particles immersed in supercooled cloud droplets
Benjamin J Murray, Daniel O'Sullivan, James D Atkinson and Michael E Webb Chem. Soc. Rev. (2012) 41 6519-6554