Comparison of rhapidosomes and asbestos microfibrils

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  23 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4348, pp. 1401-1403
DOI: 10.1126/science.663621


Rhapidosomers (cylindrical nucleoprotein rods of bacterial origin) show great structural similarity to the microfibrils of chrysotile asbestos when negatively stained and observed with the electron microscope. If the negative stain is omitted, the asbestos retains its structural detail whereas the rhapidosomes appear to be unstructured bodies. When the microscope is adjusted into a selected area diffraction mode, the asbestos shows characteristic electron diffraction patterns whereas the rhapidosomes appear to be amorphous to electron diffraction.