Seeing is believing

Show simple item record Schubert, Wolf-Dieter 2014-10-21T13:07:30Z 2014-10-21T13:07:30Z 2014
dc.description.abstract Have you ever wondered how something small like a virus or a bacterium can infect a person and cause anything from minor irritations such as a sore throat, to more severe symptoms like fever and measles, or even kill? Or have you marvelled at the elegant yet intricate double helix structure of DNA? How do we know that these things really exist or how they work? And how do we know what medicines to take to treat a particular disease? Thinking about or answering such questions was way beyond our reach until a few decades ago. Then came the discovery and refinement of crystallography in the first half of the 20th century and its application to biology from the 1950s onward. Slowly this opened our eyes to the wonders of the microcosm, showing us how biology works at the cellular, molecular and even atomic level. We live in a physical, three-dimensional world. We are born with two eyes and two ears set slightly apart. This allows us to perceive the world around us. We not only see the height and the width of any object but its depth too. This in turn allows us to understand how one thing relates to another – is it smaller, thicker, broader, behind or in front of another? Are boxes neatly stacked one on top of the other or are they randomly thrown onto a big heap? en_US
dc.description.librarian am2014 en_US
dc.description.uri en_US
dc.identifier.citation Schurbert, W-B 2014, 'Seeing is believing', Quest, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 16-20. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1729-830X
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Lynnwood Ridge: Academy of Science South Africa en_US
dc.rights This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License en_US
dc.subject Macromolecular crystallography en_US
dc.subject Biological crystallography en_US
dc.subject Haemoglobin en_US
dc.subject Myoglobin en_US
dc.subject Enzymes en_US
dc.subject Ribosomes en_US
dc.subject Crystal structures en_US
dc.subject Membrane structure en_US
dc.title Seeing is believing en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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