Splitting Water

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Science  20 Apr 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5516, pp. 447-448
DOI: 10.1126/science.1060222

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Photosynthetic water oxidation is the largest global source of atmospheric Oand provided the impetus for the evolution of complex life on Earth. In his Perspective, Dismukes highlights the recent publication of a structural model of the polypeptide subunit organization of the enzyme responsible for this reaction. These results, which are based on x-ray crystallographic data, provide hope that a detailed atomic model of the water-splitting catalyst should be forthcoming.