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Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure

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Building infrastructure for structural biology studies

Structural biology studies rely on a very expensive set of equipment (nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), electron microscopy, synchrotrons, etc.). To remedy this problem, the Instruct project suggested building novel infrastructure of innovative technologies for scientific centres Europe-wide.

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Biomolecules are too small to see even with the most advanced microscopes. Scientists have designed a very sophisticated set of tools that determine the detailed structure of biomolecules. Equipment at the cutting-edge of structural biology is increasingly expensive to build and maintain, and few European Countries possesses such equipment and expertise in all structural biology technologies. As a solution, the 'Integrated structural biology infrastructure' (Instruct) project generated an integrated infrastructure of structural biology tools, enabling access for any European researcher. The project established core centres that provide access to specific technology and expertise. Associate centres will not have a complete set of equipment, but they will complement each other in an effort to make the technology available to everyone. Full access to the technology is not exclusive to member countries that adopted and paid for the Instruct programme. Member states can become members allowing their scientists to submit research proposals. The Instruct programme establishes, evaluates and validates both national and international centres that provide support in structural biology. This project also offers operational, governance and legal guidance towards cooperation in the use of the novel scientific technology.

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