Cytochrome c oxidases (CcO) are a class of proteins that form the terminal enzyme in the respiratory electron transport chain in both eukaryotes (in mitochondria) and in bacteria. Upon receiving electrons from cytochrome c, it converts oxygen to water and transfers protons across the membrane to create a membrane potential. This membrane potential is used to power the creation of ATP, the energy currency of the cell, by ATP synthase. They are therefore essential to cellular homeostasis. Working to determine the structure and process of bovine heart CcOs are Drs Shinya Yoshikawa, Atsuhiro Shimada and Tomitake Tsukihara.One notable advance has been the development of X-ray free electron laser (XFEL). This process is used for producing and applying X-ray results in a much higher intensity beam. Whilst this can destroy the tested target, it is capable of producing extremely high-resolution images of the molecule and allowing for a snapshot of the molecular dynamics at the time resolution of 10 femtosecond level, that is much higher than the timescale of protein structural changes during the physiological functions (ie. slower than picosecond). This means it is capable of seeing the protein molecule in action.