Art in Science — Protein crystals

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Believe it or not, science can be quite artistic.

Here, I am going to draw an example from my research laboratory, where we look at particular proteins that are very important in the heart- and skeletal-muscle functions. But the proteins are way too small to actually look under a microscope. One way to find out how they look like is to use a nanotechnology called protein X-ray crystallography. The basic principle is that when a protein crystal is shot with an X-ray, it gives out a unique diffraction pattern, which appears as multiple, tiny dots. These dots allow us to figure out the exact whereabouts of the atoms making up that protein, giving us the exact shape, or structure, of the protein. Continue reading –>

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