Aaron Klug – developer of crystallographic electron microscopy

Aaron Klug – developer of crystallographic electron microscopy

Category : Personalities
Published by : Data Research Analyst, Worldofchemicals.com

Biography & Contributions

Aaron Klug British chemist, biophysicist and Nobel laureate was born on August 11, 1926. Klug is best known biophysicist for development of crystallographic electron microscopy and structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes.

Klug used methods from X-ray diffraction, microscopy and structural modeling to develop crystallographic electron microscopy in which a sequence of two-dimensional images of crystals taken from different angles is combined to produce three-dimensional images of the target.

He developed crystallographic electron microscopy, a technique using laser light to gain improved results through electron microscopy. The major principle of this method of three-dimensional image reconstruction from two-dimensional imagery formed the basis of computed tomography (CT) scanning, among other practical applications. In 1974 his group was the first group to obtain crystals of a transfer RNA, and determine its structure. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1982.

Klug’s discoveries were made in conjunction with his own development of the techniques of crystallographic electron microscopy, whereby series of electron micrographs, taken of two-dimensional crystals from different angles, can be combined to produce three-dimensional images of particles.

X-ray crystallography Method

X-ray crystallography is a tool used for identifying the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal, in which the crystalline atoms cause a beam of incident X-rays to diffract into many specific directions. X-ray crystallography is still the chief method for characterizing the atomic structure of new materials and in discerning materials that appear similar by other experiments. X-ray crystallography has led to a better understanding of chemical bonds and non-covalent interactions.

X-ray crystallographic studies have led to the discovery of various bonding patterns in inorganic chemistry, like metal-metal double bonds, metal-metal quadruple bonds, and three-center, two-electron bonds. In the field of organometallic chemistry, the X-ray structure of ferrocene initiated scientific studies of sandwich compounds. X-ray diffraction has been the principal method for determining the arrangement of atoms in minerals and metals.

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