What has the art of the chocolatier got to do with drug discovery, proteins and DNA? Crystals are the link: they allow us to determine the three-dimensional shapes of all sizes of molecules, ranging from the tiny chocolate moiety to much larger proteins important for our bodies to function. Crystallography started in 1913 with the determination of the structure of sodium chloride (salt) by the Bragg father and son team. It now has applications in engineering, physics, chemistry, earth sciences and biology. Using crystallography, we can unravel the shapes of biomolecules in our bodies that are drug targets against disease, and thus identify new treatments.
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