VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Proteomics researcher holding a magnetic base used to hold protein crystals prior to their selection for X-ray crystallography study. The base holds crystals on the tips of the thin rods. A robot arm automatically removes a crystal and places it in the crystallography machine. Crystallography is used to determine the three-dimensional structure of a molecule. The diffraction pattern produced as X-rays pass through a crystal reveal its structure. This research is being done at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories, California, USA. There, the protein crystallisation and crystallography process is automated, which makes it much faster than conventional methods. Photographed in 2002.
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