Water Photolysis in Biology

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Science  19 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5665, pp. 1782-1784
DOI: 10.1126/science.1096767

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At the heart of photosynthesis, the main process by which solar energy enters the biosphere, is a fascinating enzyme that oxidizes water and as a side effect produces the oxygen in the atmosphere. In their perspective, Rutherford and Boussac describe how a structure of the enzyme determined by Ferreira et al. contributes to our understanding of photosynthesis. Besides providing the long-awaited structure of the catalytic site, the work provides constraints for future mechanistic models.