CT Scans At Molecular Level Could Speed Up Drug Discovery


Latest research points out that it could take only a few minutes to identify molecules instead of weeks.

Usually, scientists are using x-rays in order to determine chemical structures to develop drugs. The thing is that this process is prolonged and it can take up to a few weeks.

As they require extensive and pure crystals, it can take even a few years to produce something that could be big enough for studying.

Now, the latest research is highlighting the fact that all this time could be eventually cut down to only a matter of minutes.

Experts have been working on a CT scan-like technique that could be able to quickly and easily detect the shape of really small organic molecules.

This works by borrowing elements from the x-ray technique, but the difference is that it does not require large crystals.

This innovative approach relies on electron diffraction which sends a beam through sheet-like crystals to determine its structure in a similar way in which it’s done via an x-ray.

This technique has been previously used to study proteins, but now the team of researchers discovered that it could work great with tiny organic molecules.

Speeding up the process of determining chemical structures 

It not only worked adequately, but it worked with materials and mixtures that have not been formally prepared.

Experts could even determine the structure of substances that have been scraped off some equipment a few moments earlier.

This discovery could basically speed up the process of determining chemical structures and also open up the detection for compounds whose crystals otherwise would not be large enough for x-rays.

Endgaget notes that “it could significantly accelerate drug discoveries and lead to more effective medicines. It could even help crime labs identify narcotic strains, or catch doping techniques that might otherwise slip underneath the radar.”


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