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Latest News items, Press Releases and Spotlight on Science articles

Record high pressure squeezes secrets out of osmium

25-08-2015

X-ray experiments reveal peculiar behaviour of the most incompressible metal on Earth.

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RNA virus replication into ribonucleoproteins and its regulation elucidated from bunyavirus polymerase structure

24-08-2015

The structural characterisation of the La Crosse bunyavirus polymerase by X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy provides a detailed description of how bunyavirus polymerase can specifically recognise the viral RNAs, how the viral RNA genome can allosterically...

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Beauty of science: microstructure of blue decor of Qinghua porcelain

20-08-2015

The image shows a trichromatic map (Co, Mn and Ca) of fragments of Qinghua porcelain from the Ming dynasty (1279-1368 AD). Quinghua porcelain presents characteristic blue decoration, made from a cobalt pigment, over a white background.

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Transfer hydrogenation catalyst deactivation solved through in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy

05-08-2015

Scientists from University of Leeds (UK) and the XMaS CRG beamline have developed a new approach to studying complex immobilised catalysts using a combination of X-ray absorption spectroscopy at both hard and soft X-ray energies and lab-based physical organic chemistry....

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Effect of visible light on chrome yellow pigments: towards safer illumination of paintings

28-07-2015

Knowledge of the effect of visible light on light-sensitive pigments such as chrome yellows is of great importance for the long-term conservation of unique masterpieces including those by Vincent van Gogh. A combination of high spatial resolution µ-XRF and µ-XANES spectrosco...

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MASSIF-1: Rise of the robots transforms MX

23-07-2015

A new era of automation in structural biology has begun with the opening of the upgrade beamline MASSIF-1. MASSIF-1, which stands for « massively automated sample selection integrated facility », is a world leading unique facility for the fully automatic, high throughput...

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A seasonal batch of apprentices

23-07-2015

Every year the ESRF offers over a hundred technical and administrative traineeships. It also plays temporary host to apprenticeships offered by other institutes, for example the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the UK, whose apprentices are welcomed...

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A tough egg to crack - oldest lizard embryos discovered in fossil eggs

10-07-2015

Since their discovery in Thailand in 2003, scientists have puzzled over the identity of a batch of tiny fossilised eggs, originally concluding that they belonged to a small theropod dinosaur or a primitive bird. Today, with the ESRF's ultra-bright X-rays and cutting...

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Francesco Sette (ESRF-DG) awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute

07-07-2015

During the common Russia-ESRF scientific meeting held at the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute (NRC-KI) in Moscow, Francesco Sette was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa by Professor Mikhail Kovalchuk, Director of the NRC-KI, for his contribution to the development...

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X-rays reveal why Matisse's yellow loses its shine

03-07-2015

For more than a decade museum scientists have puzzled over the deterioration of a bright yellow pigment used in the paintings of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modernist painters including Matisse and Van Gogh. A new study using the ESRF's bright X-rays...

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Beauty of science: nanomechanics of a gold nanowire

26-06-2015

The picture shows a coherent Bragg diffraction image of a self-suspended Au nanowire forming a nanobridge that crosses Si microtrenches. The symmetry of the diffraction image shows that the wire is of high crystalline quality and a perfect starting point for deformation...

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First Users on ESRF ID30B

26-06-2015

Beamline ID30B/MAD welcomed its first users this week with a group of scientists from Leiden University in the Netherlands.

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Complex modulated magnetism in PrPtAl

25-06-2015

The discovery and characterisation of complex modulated magnetism in PrPtAl at the interface between ferromagnetism and paramagnetism suggests a new route for creating complex magnetic order.

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Imaging the micro-vascular network and the neuronal system in a spinal cord

18-06-2015

The repair capacity of an injured spinal cord relies on the interplay between the vascular network and the neuronal system. Our knowledge of how these two intricate systems overlap at the submicrometric level has been limited by the imaging tools available. A team of...

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Compressed mineral nanoparticles make teeth tougher

10-06-2015

An interdisciplinary team* led by scientists from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and involving the ESRF has succeeded in unravelling an inbuilt crack-stopping mechanism acting in dentin, the bone-like material that comprises the bulk of human teeth. Unlike normal...

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