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100 years of X-ray crystallography

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The developments in crystallography, since it was first covered in Science Progress in 1917, following the formulation of the Bragg equation, are described. The advances in instrumentation and data analysis, coupled with the application of computational methods to data analysis, have enabled the solution of molecular structures from the simplest binary systems to the most complex of biological structures. These developments are shown to have had major impacts in the development of chemical bonding theory and in offering an increasing understanding of enzyme–substrate interactions. The advent of synchrotron radiation sources has opened a new chapter in this multi-disciplinary field of science.
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Keywords: BONDING; CRYSTAL STRUCTURE; DATA ANALYSIS; DNA; ELECTRON DENSITY; POWDER DIFFRACTION; RIBOSOME; SYMMETRY; SYNCHROTRON; UNIT CELL

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

Publication date: 01 March 2017

This article was made available online on 06 March 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "100 years of X-ray crystallography".

More about this publication?
  • SCIENCE PROGRESS has for over 100 years been a highly regarded review publication in science, technology and medicine. Its objective is to excite the readers' interest in areas with which they may not be fully familiar but which could facilitate their interest, or even activity, in a cognate field. Science Progress commissions world authorities to contribute articles on the most interesting, important and meaningful topics - ranging from cosmology to the environment - and ensures that they are presented for the most effective use of those in both academia and industry.

    Truly, Science Progress publishes an eclectic mix of articles that no library can afford to be without.

    Cover image: Plastic debris washed-up on a river bank. The manufacture and use of different types of plastic, and the effects of pollution by these materials are discussed in the article on pages 207–260. Credit: By igorstevanovic/Shutterstock.com.

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