Thursday, March 27, 2014

ENC 2014 Post 2

Another great day at the ENC.

The early AM session "Dynamics" included a very interesting talk by Cyril Charlier from CNRS, Paris.  The title is "Nanosecond Time Scale Motions in Proteins Revealed by High-Resolution NMR Rexalometry."  The concept is that it would be helpful to protein NMR people to measure T2 (and T1 and NOE) at many different fields, especially really low fields, to characterize fast time scale dynamics.  Of course, low fields means less polarization and resolution.  So you end up with lots of overlap and low signal-to-noise.  The authors realized that inside a NMR magnet -  it is only at the nominal field for a small area, then the field drops off.  So if you can design a "shuttle" system to move the sample inside the magnet you can turn a NMR at one field (say 800 MHz) to a magnet that has all fields from 800 MHz to 45 MHz.  The limitation (for the time being, at least) is that the probe sits at one spot, so you have to pulse and record at 800 MHz.  How can you use this trick.  Relaxometry.  They developed a variant of the HSQC in which you shuttle the sample up to low field for a "relaxation period" then shuttle back to acquire.  For every scan it has to jump up to low field then back down.  They also developed some theory and software to handle the combined effects of relaxation at high field (during pulses and acquisition), at low field (while it sits high in the magnet) and shuttling.  At this stage they've only reported applications to ubiquitin, but this idea is interesting and I want to see where it goes.

There were parallel sessions in the late AM.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to go to Biomolecular Structure and Function II or Hyperpolarization.  I decided to go the the Hyperpolarization, because this session featured non-DNP hyperpolarization (optical polarization, LLS and photo-cidnp).  I heard Silvia Cavagnero from UW-Madison discuss progress with her photo-cidnp system.  There were posters in the afternoon and parallel sessions on in vivo biomedical MRI/MRS and Solids. I probably should have attended the in vivo session, but by this time I was ready for a short break, so I took this opportunity to see the city and visit an old friend in Boston. 

Overall, a great day.  One more full day left and back home on Friday.  I'll probably make one more post on Friday.


PS - I'll mention that I saw the news reports on the huge fire in the Back Bay yesterday.  I just read on Twitter that two fire fighters were killed in the line of duty!  As a family member of a first responder, I am very saddened to hear about the loss of life of a fire fighter and I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the families, friends and co-workers.

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