Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First-class Protein Crystals Thanks To Weightlessness On Earth

Date:
April 24, 2008
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
A Dutch chemist has developed two attractive alternatives for allowing protein crystals to grow under weightless conditions. If the crystals are grown upside down in a strong magnetic field, fluid flows that disrupt crystal growth are suppressed. Therefore, high-quality proteins no longer need to be grown in space, but can be grown here on earth.

Dutch chemist Paul Poodt has developed two attractive alternatives for allowing protein crystals to grow under weightless conditions. If the crystals are grown upside down in a strong magnetic field, fluid flows that disrupt crystal growth are suppressed. Therefore, high-quality proteins no longer need to be grown in space, but can be grown here on earth.

Related Articles


Protein crystals provide vital knowledge for drug development. The production of an effective drug requires knowledge of how biomolecules such as body proteins are constructed. If you want to know how proteins work, you must first of all determine their molecular structure using X-ray diffraction.

This requires exceptionally high-quality protein crystals. However, allowing these to grow can be extremely difficult and sometimes even impossible: the presence of gravity gives rise to fluid flows in the crystal solution, which, in turn, disrupt the growth process. Undisturbed growth yields the finest crystals.

Space crystals

In order to prevent fluid flows, the decision is often taken to grow the protein crystals in space on, for example, the International Space Station ISS. However, as this is a very expensive and time-consuming undertaking, scientists are looking for methods to create weightlessness on earth.

The experiment in Nijmegen is the first in the world to demonstrate that a crystal can grow uniformly in a strong magnetic field.

Paul Poodt (Zevenaar, 1979) studied physical chemistry. His PhD research - supported by the Open Competition of NWO Chemical Sciences - is part of the programme of the Institute for Molecules and Material (IMM) of the Radboud University Nijmegen. He is currently employed at TNO.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "First-class Protein Crystals Thanks To Weightlessness On Earth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080423093249.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2008, April 24). First-class Protein Crystals Thanks To Weightlessness On Earth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080423093249.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "First-class Protein Crystals Thanks To Weightlessness On Earth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080423093249.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins