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  • This illustration depicts an experiment at SLAC that revealed how a protein from photosynthetic bacteria changes shape in response to light in less than a trillionth of a second. Samples of the crystallized protein (right), called photoactive yellow protein, or PYP, were struck by an optical laser beam (blue light coming from left) that triggers shape changes in the protein. These were then probed with a powerful X-ray beam (fiery beam from bottom left) from SLAC’s LCLS.
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    This illustration depicts an experiment at SLAC that revealed how a protein from photosynthetic bacteria changes shape in response to light in less than a trillionth of a second. Samples of the crystallized protein (right), called photoactive yellow protein, or PYP, were struck by an optical laser beam (blue light coming from left) that triggers shape changes in the protein. These were then probed with a powerful X-ray beam (fiery beam from bottom left) from SLAC’s LCLS.
  • This animation illustrates how the light-sensitive component of a protein (photoactive yellow protein, PYP) from photosynthetic bacteria responds to light. The light flash creates an excited state, from which the protein relaxes by rearranging its structure. Researchers using LCLS have now succeeded in taking the first real-time snapshots of this rearrangement, called trans-to-cis isomerization, which happens about 590 quadrillionths of a second (femtoseconds, fs) after the light pulse.
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    This animation illustrates how the light-sensitive component of a protein (photoactive yellow protein, PYP) from photosynthetic bacteria responds to light. The light flash creates an excited state, from which the protein relaxes by rearranging its structure. Researchers using LCLS have now succeeded in taking the first real-time snapshots of this rearrangement, called trans-to-cis isomerization, which happens about 590 quadrillionths of a second (femtoseconds, fs) after the light pulse.
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