The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $9.3 million to the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) to support ongoing development of PHENIX, a software suite for solving three-dimensional macromolecular structures.
PHENIX, which stands for Python-based Hierarchical ENvironment for Integrated Xtallography, uses modern programming concepts and advanced algorithms to automate the analysis of structural biology data. The grant is awarded through the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at NIH.
Officially launched in 2000 with NIH funding, the project is a collaboration among researchers based at Berkeley Lab, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Cambridge University, and Duke University.
“The impetus behind PHENIX is a desire to make the computational aspects of crystallography more automated, reducing human error and speeding solutions,” said PHENIX principal investigator Paul Adams, director of Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division.
Knowing the precise location of each atom in a molecule in three dimensions is critical to understanding how the molecule functions and interacts with other molecules. The shapes of the proteins in a cell, for example, reveal a lot about the work they do—whether it’s providing structural support or motility, forming selectively permeable membrane channels, or powering the cell’s metabolism. DNA sequence alone still doesn’t give enough information about how a molecule folds, or how it changes conformation.
Source: Berkeley Lab Energy
Date: Jul 26, 2017