In 2014, the scientific community celebrated the impact crystallography has had on fundamental and applied science, and the ground-breaking discoveries that have gifted us with vision into the molecular and nano-worlds. UNESCO has declared 2015 as the International Year of Light, so now is perhaps a well timed moment to reflect on the role synchrotrons play in the field. Access to synchrotron radiation has revolutionized our ability to explore the properties, interactions and structure of materials, and broadened our understanding in diverse scientific arenas ranging from our cultural heritage, to nano-technology and new materials, to cellular systems and drug discovery. The range of potential synchrotron applications and fields of interest is enormous and beyond the scope of any single article, so my aim here, is simply to provide a snapshot filtered through the lens of biological crystallography. We will look back at how synchrotrons developed into the state-of-the-art facilities we see today, how beamlines adapted to the quickening brought on by the introduction of high throughput techniques at the turn of the millennium, and forward to some of the new directions and technologies that are transforming modern light sources and crystallography. © 2015 CSIC.
Fox, G. C. (2015). Generation X-ray – A coming of age. Arbor, 191(772). https://doi.org/10.3989/arbor.2015.772n2007