NASA is growing space crystals to make better drugs

NASA is growing space crystals to make better drugs

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Scientists on the International Space Station or (ISS) are experimenting on crystal growth in space. The aim is to find out why crystals increase in size when grown in space and show fewer imperfections, which in turn would help researchers accelerate drug development on Earth.

For chemists to design drugs, they need to understand the protein structure. Unfortunately proteins are small and have to be crystallized in order to study their 3D blueprint. Growing higher-quality crystals in space may unravel the complexities of these proteins. This could help researchers create better blueprints to study.

This could go a long way to improve medication and hopefully find cures for untreatable illnesses.

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