Prospects in Health and Medicine
Research with Synchrotron Radiation is fundamental for the identification of the three-dimensional structure of proteins, that is, the position of each of the atoms and their interactions, an important step in the development of new drugs.
In this area, Sirius opens possibilities to unravel complex proteins, not yet investigated, and proteins such as kinases involved in the regulation of cellular processes, and therefore important targets in the treatment of some cancers, inflammatory diseases and diabetes. Furthermore, the protein crystallography technique with micrometric x-ray beams would enable, for example, advances in understanding the fundamental structures of the HIV virus and its mechanism of action.
At Sirius, the imaging techniques with nanometric spatial resolution will bring enormous contributions in the analysis of organs and tissues. Images obtained by phase contrast will allow the distinction of biological tissue with contrast a thousand times better than that obtained today, bringing great benefits in the study of cancer, for example. In addition, tomography techniques for soft and tender X-rays that will be available on Sirius will obtain images of cells with sufficient resolution to understand the structure of organelles.
In the future, the combination of imaging techniques with Synchrotron Light and protein crystallography will allow the scientists to obtain an overview of cellular metabolism mechanisms, from the atomic to tissue level with unprecedented scientific impact on health. With Sirius, Brazil may participate and become one of the leaders of this scientific revolution, expected in the coming decades.