Open data set of live cyanobacterial cells imaged using an X-ray laser

Gijs Van Der Schot, Martin Svenda, Filipe R N C Maia, Max F. Hantke, Daniel P. DePonte, M. Marvin Seibert, Andrew Aquila, Joachim Schulz, Richard Kirian, Mengning Liang, Francesco Stellato, Sadia Bari, Bianca Iwan, Jakob Andreasson, Nicusor Timneanu, Johan Bielecki, Daniel Westphal, Francisca Nunes De Almeida, Dusko Odic, Dirk HasseGunilla H. Carlsson, Daniel S D Larsson, Anton Barty, Andrew V. Martin, Sebastian Schorb, Christoph Bostedt, John D. Bozek, Sebastian Carron, Ken Ferguson, Daniel Rolles, Artem Rudenko, Sascha W. Epp, Lutz Foucar, Benedikt Rudek, Benjamin Erk, Robert Hartmann, Nils Kimmel, Peter Holl, Lars Englert, N. Duane Loh, Henry N. Chapman, Inger Andersson, Janos Hajdu, Tomas Ekeberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Structural studies on living cells by conventional methods are limited to low resolution because radiation damage kills cells long before the necessary dose for high resolution can be delivered. X-ray free-electron lasers circumvent this problem by outrunning key damage processes with an ultra-short and extremely bright coherent X-ray pulse. Diffraction-before-destruction experiments provide high-resolution data from cells that are alive when the femtosecond X-ray pulse traverses the sample. This paper presents two data sets from micron-sized cyanobacteria obtained at the Linac Coherent Light Source, containing a total of 199,000 diffraction patterns. Utilizing this type of diffraction data will require the development of new analysis methods and algorithms for studying structure and structural variability in large populations of cells and to create abstract models. Such studies will allow us to understand living cells and populations of cells in new ways. New X-ray lasers, like the European XFEL, will produce billions of pulses per day, and could open new areas in structural sciences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number160058
JournalScientific Data
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Information Systems
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Library and Information Sciences


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