PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
X-ray diffraction of lysozyme. This pattern of dark dots is created when X-rays pass through a crystal of lysozyme. The geometry of the crystal diffracts X-rays in a particular way, giving investigators data on the electron density of lysozyme. In this way the molecular structure of lysozyme can be determined. Lysozyme is an anti- bacterial enzyme widely distributed in human body fluids and secretions, including human tears and saliva. It disrupts bacterial cell walls, acting as a natural antibiotic. Research is establishing which parts of the lysozyme molecule act against bacteria. Photographed at Pasteur Institute, Paris.
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