Crystal Gazing: Structure Prediction and Polymorphism

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Science  17 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5337, pp. 404-405
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5337.404

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A given molecular structure can lead to more than one crystallized form, a phenomenon known as polymorphism. As discussed in the Perspective by Desiraju, polymorphism is an important scientific and technological question as more effort is brought to bear on the problem of designing materials. Moreover, polymorphism can have legal ramifications, as demonstrated in the litigation surrounding the ulcer drug Zantac.