Crystalline

Abigail Wadsworth Serfass
September 21, 2016
Comments 0

It’s the winter of 1987, and my mother is sitting in her office at the University of Pittsburgh with a Big Mac and an electron density map. It looks like topography, where curvy, concentric lines show the height of mountains and depth of valleys. My mother’s map is a different kind of landscape; it shows the electron clouds surrounding atoms in a crystallized protein that she X-rayed earlier that day.

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