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Part One: Fundamentals and Experimental Aspects of Small Angle X-ray Scattering
  1. Fundamentals of x-ray scattering
    • Scattering phenomenon and interference
    • From crystal and fiber diffraction to solution scattering
    • Form factor and object shapes
    • X-ray scattering contrast
    • Theory on solution scattering calculations
  2. Experimental Aspects of Scattering
    • Instruments
      • X-ray generators (bench-top, synchrotron) and detectors
      • Synchrotron-based setups
    • Data acquisition
      • Synchrotron based SAXS experiments
      • Bench-top x-ray source based SAXS experiments
      • Neutron scattering
    • Scattering sample preparations
  3. Data Processing
    • 2D-> 1D data conversion
    • Background subtraction
    • Data quality evaluation
Part Two: Data Interpretation and Applications in Structural Biology
  1. X-ray scattering profile and embedded information
    • d-spacing / resolution
    • Hierarchical structural information
    • SAXS vs. WAXS
    • Guinier plot & radius of gyration
    • Molecular weight
    • Porod’s law & Porod invariant
    • Pair distance distribution function
  2. Statistical validation of structural models
    • Molecular envelope and shape
    • Low-resolution model/shape reconstruction
    • Molecular conformation and flexibility
    • Contrast variation and matching (SAXS and SANS)
  3. SAXS in combination with other techniques for high resolution structure determination and conformational ensemble optimization
    • Single-structure refinement with NMR and SAXS data using Xplor-NIH
    • Ensemble refinement using SAXS and Xplor-NIH
    • Using SAXS to determine global structures of complexes
    • Combined use of NMR data and SAXS for structure determination of large RNAs in solution
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