A beginner's guide to nuclear magnetic resonance: From atomic spies to complex 3D structures at the heart of structural biology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The 'Beginner's Guides' are an ongoing series of feature articles, each one covering a key technique and offering the scientifically literate, but not necessarily expert audience, a background briefing on the underlying science of a technique that is (or will be) widely used in molecular bioscience. The series will cover a mixture of techniques, including some that are well established amongst a subset of our readership but not necessarily familiar to those in different specialisms. This 'Beginner's Guide' covers nuclear magnetic resonance. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) provides a way to explore the 3D structures of macromolecules in much more biologically relevant conditions and does this by taking advantage of the quantum mechanical property of some nuclei-nuclear spin. Here, we discuss how nuclear spin can be harnessed to provide information on the 3D structure of macromolecules in solution and how new thinking is leading to a revolution in drug discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this