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Growth Defects in Biomacromolecular CrystalsNASA's ground based program confirmed close similarity between protein and small molecules crystal growth, but also revealed essential differences. No understanding exists as to why and when crystals grown in space are, in approx. 20 percent of cases, of higher quality. More rationale is needed in flight experiments. Ferritin crystals grown in space are 2.5 times cleaner than their terrestrial counterparts. This may occur because of the existence of a zone depleted with respect to impurities around a crystal growing in stagnant solution. This zone should appear since the distribution coefficient for homologous impurities exceeds unity. This impurity depletion zone hypothesis requires verification and development. Thorough purification from homologous impurities brought about resolution improvement from 2.6 to 1.8 angstroms for ferritin and from 2.6 to 2.0 angstroms for canavalin.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Biological and Physical Space Research Laboratory 2002 Science Review
Subject Category
Space Processing
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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