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Dramatic improvements in experimental methods and computational techniques have revolutionized three-dimensional image reconstruction from electron micrographs (EM) of vitrified samples. Recent results include the first determination of a protein fold (for the core protein of the hepatitis B virus) by non-crystalline imaging techniques. These developments have generated interest within the crystallographic community and have led to a re-evaluation of the technique, particularly amongst those working in the field of virus structure or struggling with the phasing of large macromolecular assemblies. A simple discussion of the techniques of EM image reconstruction and its advantages and problems in terms familiar to crystallographers will hopefully allow an appreciation of the essential complementarity of the two techniques and the practical potentials for phasing applications.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr

Publication Date

10/1999

Volume

55

Pages

1742 - 1749

Keywords

Cryoelectron Microscopy, Crystallography, X-Ray, Hepatitis B virus, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Ribosomes, Scattering, Radiation, Semliki forest virus, Viral Core Proteins