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Canadian Light Source reaches milestone with Saskatoon synchrotron

The Canadian Light Source has solved one thousand protein structures using data collected with the synchrotron in Saskatoon.
The Canadian Light Source has solved one thousand protein structures using data collected with the synchrotron in Saskatoon. Devin Sauer / Global News

Saskatoon scientists at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) have achieved a milestone by solving one thousand protein structures with data collected at its synchrotron.

A synchrotron is a source of bright light used to examine matter too small to be observed by microscopes.

READ MORE: Saskatoon synchrotron oil research aims to improve well efficiency

By using X-rays to map cells, researchers are capable of drawing conclusions about diseases and ways to combat them.

Their work leads to more effective drugs and vaccines.

An image of the one thousandth protein structure solved at the Canadian Light Source.
An image of the one thousandth protein structure solved at the Canadian Light Source. Canadian Light Source / Supplied

“This is the part where you get the blueprints, but more like architectural design of the house,” said Mirek Cygler, a University of Saskatchewan professor and the Canada research chair in molecular medicine using synchrotron light.

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“Now you can look at it and say ‘OK here is the place I want to go and do something.'”

Researchers are also celebrating 500 published scientific papers based on CLS research.

The CLS opened in 2004 – one of the largest science projects in Canadian history and the country’s only synchrotron.