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Negative Review Galls Space Crystallographers

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Science  24 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5376, pp. 497-498
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5376.497a

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The promise of space-grown protein crystals has been a major selling point for the international space station: Larger and more perfect than Earth-grown versions, they could reveal new molecular details and new targets for drug designers. But a group of academic scientists who issued a review of the field last week said that crystal-growth experiments NASA has already flown aboard the space shuttle haven't lived up to expectations and that the field has made "no serious contributions" to scientific knowledge and there is "no justification" for continuing such studies in space.