PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Photosynthesis protein. Computer graphic of a protein molecule that plays a role in photosynthesis. The molecule, found in purple non- sulphurous bacteria, converts the sun's energy into an electrical gradient. Atoms are represented as spheres with polypeptide chains colour coded. The structure is symmetrical and one branch has an active site. At the active site, electron transfer occurs in photosynthesis. Using ultra-rapid lasers researchers Robert Huber, Johann Deisenhofer and Hartmut Michel filmed the movement of atoms to see this chemical reaction in "real time". This research won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
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