Crystallography Journals Online : IUCR Backfile Archive 1948-2001
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Crystals of antithrombin were grown both on earth and in microgravity aboard US Space Shuttle Flight STS-67. The quality of crystals grown in both environments was highly variable and many could not be indexed. The microgravity crystals, however, generally diffracted better, as demonstrated by a novel procedure that estimates the resolution of the Bragg scatter from single diffraction images, without requiring knowledge of the cell dimensions of the crystal. Whereas the best earth-grown crystals never diffracted beyond 3 Å resolution, the best microgravity crystal diffracted to 2.6 Å. The improvement, demonstrated here by a comparison of 23 microgravity and 12 earth-grown crystals, is attributed to better ordered crystal growth in microgravity, although other factors may have contributed also.
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