Update: Biological Nitrogen Fixation and Model Chemistry

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Science  07 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5305, pp. 1442
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5305.1442

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In biological systems such as plants, enzymes called nitrogenases “fix” nitrogen from the air for use by the organism. In his Perspective Update, Leigh discusses new work that examines how nitrogen is processed by simpler molecular complexes. Such studies may reveal how nitrogenases work, which would increase our fundamental understanding of plant biochemistry and could potentially lead to more efficient industrial processing of nitrogen. See also the two reports related to this Perspective by Shan et al. (p. 1460) and Fryzuk et al. (p. 1445).