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Researchers find a way to improve FELs approach used to study Photosystem II in plants

Posted November 28, 2014

A team of researchers in Japan has developed a technique for improving the free electron lasers (FELs) approach to studying Photosystem II that allows for creating high-resolution images of the oxygen evolving complex (OEC) in plants. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes their new technique and how their work might lead to a better understanding of the entire photosynthesis process. Ilme Schlichting, of the Max Planck Institute offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue.

 Researchers find a way to improve FELs approach used to study Photosystem II in plants
Diffraction experiment using the XFEL beam at SACLA. Credit: Nature (2014) doi:10.1038/nature13991


Scientists have been studying plants for quite some time trying to understand howp hotosynthesis works, and while they have made a great deal of progress, there are still some parts that aren’t completely understood, one of those is Photosystem II, the initial reaction in photosynthesis, where a plant uses energy from light to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen atoms.

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