The group of Atsushi MIYAWAKI at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute engineered a fluorescent protein that rapidly assembles into large crystals inside living cells, and showed that cells actively targeted the crystals for degradation. The unprecedented size and purity of these crystals allowed an analysis of the protein’s structure directly within the intact cell. The researchers were able to observe the crystallization process and the cell’s responses in real-time, potentially transforming the production and study of protein crystals.

RIKEN news release, March 13, 2015