The UN has declared 2014 the International Year of Crystallography. There’s a whole host of events going on. How many crystal structures do you think have been worked out? 100? 1000? 1,000,000? Well 1 million is closer to the mark.
As each structure is determined, the scientist that discovered them will post the structure (using the steps we introduced above) into an accessible database. Which database they place it in depends on the field they are working in.
For instance, structural biologists tend to post structures to the Protein Database (95,644 structures and counting); organic chemists often post to the Cambridge Structural Database (over 600,000 structures); inorganic chemists often post to the Inorganic Crystal Structure Database (over 80,000 structures); and geologists often post to the American mineralogical database.
But, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of overlap! There’s also now the Open Crystallography Database project with 244,992 crystal structures and counting.
In a side project, we’ve been blogging about a crystal structure every day in 2014. To learn more, visit the Crystallography 365 blog.
Look out for details of the other celebrations of the International Year of Crystallography in Australia including blogs, photo competitions and new educational websites/videos for high school and university students. For updates on crystallography events click here.
Small crystallographic displays will be showcased at Centennial Parklands during Science in the Swamp (Saturday 16 August), the Verge Gallery, University of Sydney (August 2014), Southern Cross University Main Library Lismore (August 2014) and with the photo competition. One exciting part of these exhibitions will be 3D printed models from Leigh Aldous’ research group at UNSW Australia.