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Science  13 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4658, pp. 203-204
DOI: 10.1126/science.225.4658.203


The preparation of suitably large protein single crystals is essentially the rate-determining step of protein x-ray structure determinations. Attempts to produce single crystals with two model compounds—β-galactosidase and lysozyme—under conditions of microgravity were successful. Crystals formed by salting out from solutions kept free of convection were 27 and 1000 times larger in volume, respectively, than those produced in the same apparatus but exposed to terrestrial gravitation.