U.K. Diamond Light Source to study viral structures in detail

Scientists from the United Kingdom recently presented details about Diamond Light Source, the first and only BSL-3 lab in Europe capable of analyzing dangerous pathogens at the atomic and molecular level using synchrotron light.

The special light allows researchers to study viral structures at intense levels of detail. The new facility expands the U.K.'s capacity to research many of the viruses that have a major global impact on human and animal health.

Professor Dave Stuart, the director of Diamond Light Source and a professor of structural biology at Oxford University, recently spoke on some of the new facility's capabilities at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.

"Crystal provides unique facilities in Europe for the study of serious viruses," Stuart said. "Nowhere in the world can structures be so readily solved with the speed and efficiency that is now available at Diamond.

"As such, we anticipate interest from a number of groups in the U.K., including the Particle Imaging Center in Oxford, which provides a suite of contained laboratories including a crystallization laboratory, to support the preparation of sample prior to study at Diamond. This is great news for the U.K. research community, as the facility will be a resource with the potential to provide new pathways for treatment."