Mukund Mehrotra’s favorite structure is:

Imatinib with c-Abl Kinase

Imatinib, John Kuriyan 2002 Can Res

Source: Wikipedia

Why?

The discovery of Imatinib (Glivec) launched the new era of *magic bullets* to treat all types of cancers. Currently about 30 kinase inhibitors are FDA approved to treat cancers and autoimmune diseases. The discovery of Imatinib was based on structure-based drug design, including co-crystal structure of it with c-Abl kinase domain. The kinase inhibitors, by virtue of selective-targettng, exhibit much less side effects than chemotherapy.—Mukund Mehrotra

Chris Mullins’s favorite structure is:

C11H18N4SNi*H2O

image

Source: Mercury software, structure published in IC

Why?

This was one of the last crystal structures collected from my graduate work in the Grapperhaus group at UofL. We worked really hard to show that this compound had a connection to the NiSOD studies going on at the time, finally getting it published in Inorg. Chem. in 2009. The compound also had some interesting properties relating to water channels that have never gotten published. It is my hope that my current small research group will eventually reconnect with this research someday!—Chris Mullins

Steven Stellman’s favorite structure is:

guanylyl-3′,5′-cytidine (GpC)

GPC 02

Source: Stellman et al., Biopolymers 1973;12:2731-50

Why?

It's the only crystal structure that I ever helped to solve. I was a post-doc with Robert Langridge, who had done his doctorate with Watson & Crick's co-Nobelist Maurice Wilkins. Bob set up the first computer graphic lab at Princeton, and I worked with a team that used graphical methods instead of wire models to generate trial structures of dinucleoside phosphates that were fragments of RNA. Ours was one of the early success stories. Geometrical structures, of course, were coded line by line in those days. Our innovation was applying minimization methods with chemical constraints to the initial guess to get a decent structure prediction. You then put in the trial coordinates, ran a fourier transform, and calcuated an R-factor against the actual X-ray data. I still recall the late-night thrill of inspecting the output and "knowing" we had the right answer. But life goes on. I have been an epidemiologist for the past 40 years and haven't had much call to do crystallography since then.—Steven Stellman

Mark-Robin Giolando’s favorite structure is:

4,6-Dinitro-N,N’-di-n-octylbenzene-1,3-diamine

CrystalPicture

Source: Mark Giolando

Why?

I think this structure is cool because a friend and I started to learn about crystallography while in sophomore year of high school. This beautiful crystal structure was the result of our first analysis. Later it would published in a scientific journal. Besides its memory value, this crystal also appeals to me through its beauty and fascinating packing. This crystal structure’s symmetry and long hydrocarbon chains are what make it beautiful. It is amazing what can be done with invisible X-rays.—Mark-Robin Giolando

Michael Funk’s favorite structure is:

Methionine synthase cobalamin-binding domain (PDB code 1BMT)

2014-09-01 17.21.22

Source: Michael Funk

Why?

Cobalamin (or vitamin B12) is an essential nutrient for humans, but it is also a beautiful and fascinating molecule. Cobalamin contains a cobalt atom locked in a ring of carbon and nitrogen atoms. The metal gives this cofactor its brilliant colors, from pink to red to orange, and powerful reactivity as a carrier of methyl groups and initiator of radical reactions. For many years it was unknown how enzymes bound cobalamin and used it to perform difficult chemistry. The structure of the cobalamin-binding domain of methionine synthase (Drennan et al., 1995 Science) revealed that cobalamin binds to the protein in a different conformation than what exists in solution. The protein interacts with the cobalt atom at the core of cobalamin to alter its reactivity. Subsequent studies on other cobalamin-binding enzymes have confirmed and expanded the conclusions gained from this ground breaking structure. In the above 3D printed structure, cobalamin (yellow) is bound to the cobalamin-binding domain of methionine synthase (green).—Michael Funk

Dagmar Eileen Bonet’s favorite structure is:

Hexagonal Rosette (flower like)

tmp_images-1326294119

Source: rockpow.com/archive2.htm

Why?

It's bundled tabular form appear like rose flower petals, or a geometrical shape. Both its appearance, and the ability to self assemble, and self grow it's crystals reminds me much of an actual plant that provides for itself to develop. It's also considered to be rare due to being one of the few carbobarates mankind knows about.The ranges in its appearance can also be from a milky white to colorless slightly see through appearance, which in a way made me think of white roses. I also remember in grade school working with these during a science lesson, and remembered the sparky particles all over them which I felt were very pretty. —Dagmar Eileen Bonet

Joseph Charlonis’s favorite structure is:

Indium Phosphide

In1P1-22398807

Source:
http://www.webelements.com/compounds/indium/indium_phosphide.html

Why?

I've been doing research on Indium Phosphide quantum dots and aside from being wonderful laser diodes, can be used to teach students about the excitation of electrons (under UV light), band gap theory as well as particle in a sphere calculations. There are also other potential uses than we may know of for now.—Joseph Charlonis

Clint Holderby’s favorite structure is:

DNA

image

Source: Myweb.usf.edu

Why?

It's not so much the crystallography that Rosalind Franklin did (which is magnificent), but rather the simple beauty of life. DNA is the building block of life and has such an elegant form. That's why that photo of the crystalline structure will always be my favorite.—Clint Holderby

Dagmar Eileen Bonet’s favorite structure is:

Hexagonal
Rosette (flower like)

image

Source: rockpow.com/archive2.htm

Why?

Its bundled tabular form appear like rose flower petals, or a geometrical shape. Both its appearance, and the ability to self assemble, and self grow its crystals reminds me much of an actual plant that provides for itself to develop. It's also considered to be rare due to being one of the few carbobarates mankind knows about.The ranges in its appearance can also be from a milky white to colorless slightly see through appearance, which in a way made me think of white roses. I also remember in grade school working with these during a science lesson, and remembered the sparky particles all over them which I felt were very pretty. —Dagmar Eileen Bonet

mario alberto’s favorite structure is:

Crystal structure of potassium permanganate

image

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_permanganate

Why?

because it is very similar to the structure of carbon in its pyramidal shape. With perfect symmetry showing elegance and interactions with water oxygens show how powerful can be with their reactions. I phasine—mario alberto

Dave Boruta’s favorite structure is:

Rh2(TPA)SPTTL3

image

Source: David Boruta Dissertation & Chemical Science

Why?

I was intimately tied to this crystal structure for nearly 5 years of my life.  This crystal structure and the insights it provided into chiral secondary structure resulted in a high impact publication and my doctoral dissertation.  It has also led to an NIH grant for future work for other members of the research group I graduated from.  —Dave Boruta

Alex J. Vecchio’s favorite structure is:

PDB ID: 3MDL – Crystal structure of COX-2 bound to an endocannabinoid

Source: The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Why?

My favorite crystal structure is the first one I solved as a graduate student. I recall the humbling feeling I had as I realized that I was the first human being to observe the binding of this important neuromodulating substrate bound in the active site of COX-2. I then remember feeling confused, as I compared this binding conformation to the binding of other COX-2 substrates, and thinking I made a mistake somehow when I noticed the active site molded around the substrate instead of vice versa, as the comparative substrates seemed to do. After several years more of work I verified the structure through biochemical analyses. Such are the (rewarding) adventures of a graduate student in crystallography.—Alex J. Vecchio

Sophia Lai’s favorite structure is:

Bismuth hopper crystals

image

Source: Top: DeviantArt, Bottom: My own

Why?

I made these crystals my junior year in high school and I still have them. I take them out every so often just to marvel at how straight the edges of the intricate square spiral pattern are. If you hold them to the light at different angles, you can see the colors change— a phenomenon known as iridescence. The colors are actually caused by the oxide or tarnish on the surface of the bismuth, which otherwise is a silver metal. Because the thickness of the oxide layer varies, the color varies due to interference between reflected light of different wavelengths. Bismuth forms hopper crystals when re-melted, which are the square spirals you see here. Besides being beautiful, bismuth is a special element with niche uses (medicinal, catalysis, etc). It is the most diamagnetic naturally occurring metal and similar to water, it is denser as a liquid than solid. Because of its strong diamagnetism, you can levitate magnets over a bismuth plate!—Sophia Lai

v k reddy maddireddy’s favorite structure is:

CsCl

image

Source: wikipedia

Why?

Its crystal structure forms a major structural type where each caesium ion is coordinated by 8 chlorine ions. Caesium chloride crystals are thermally stable, but easily dissolve in water and concentrated hydrochloric acid, and therefore gradually disintegrate in the ambient conditions due to moisture. Caesium chloride is widely used in isopycnic centrifugation for separating various types of DNA. It is a reagent in analytical chemistry, where it is used to identify ions by the color and morphology of the precipitate. When enriched in radioisotopes, such as 137CsCl or 131CsCl, caesium chloride is used in nuclear medicine applications such as treatment of cancer and diagnosis of myocardial n mineralogy and crystallography, a crystal structure is a unique arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystalline liquid or solid.[1] A crystal structure describes a highly ordered structure, occurring due to the intrinsic nature of molecules to form symmetric patterns.—v k reddy maddireddy

Mitchel Ruigrok’s favorite structure is:

Human Apolipoprotein A-I

image

Source: RCSB Protein Databank
(http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/images/1av1_bio_r_500.jpg)

Why?

Human Apolipoprotein A-I has my favourite structure due to its unique shape: it has a Möbius-like shape. Of course, it is not an actual Möbius entity, but it looks quite interesting. In addition, Apolipoprotein A-I has an important function in the homeostasis of the human body. The protein promotes removal of cholesterol from the body by excreting it through the liver. In conclusion, the protein is interesting due to its unique shape (in comparison to many transmembrane proteins which all sort of look similar one way or the other) and due to its significance in promoting health in humans. Thank you! :)—Mitchel Ruigrok

John Spevacek’s favorite structure is:

Polyethylene
Single Crystals

image

Source: Philosophical Magazine Volume 2, Issue 21, 1957

Why?

XRD shows that the chains this image are oriented upright, yet he shadows of these crystals showed they are thin, much thinner than the length of the polymers that make them. The only possible conclusion: the chain are folded back and forth and are not extended like "spaghetti in a box". A revolutionary thought back in 1957 that completely changed our understanding of polymer crystallization.—John Spevacek

Hila Hakak’s favorite structure is:

Hexagonal Rossete (flower-like)

image

Source: JACS

Why?

I am a chemist M.Sc student and once I read an article about a special nano Magnesium compund with a hexagonal Rosette crystal structure that was so beautiful. but the most important thing about it is was the ability to atract rare earth elements from waste water. so it was pretty + it had an important recycling roll—Hila Hakak

Nichole Wonderling’s favorite structure is:

Perovskite – PZT

image

Source: Structure generated by Jade2010 from
Materials Data, Inc. using ICDD ref 04-002-9085 (LPF 383176)

Why?

The perovskite structure of lead zirconate titanate, (Pb[Zr(x)Ti(1-x)]O3), known as PZT, is my favorite crystal structure.  Developed around 1952 at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, it is one of the world’s most widely used piezoelectric ceramic materials and touches our lives in the form of ultrasound transducers, sensors and actuators, and capacitors on a daily basis.  As the subject of interest for a plethora of research in our laboratory, PZT holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the faculty, staff and students of the Materials Research Institute at The Pennsylvania State University. —Nichole Wonderling

Minos Matsoukas’s favorite structure is:

beta2 adrenegic receptor in complex with Gs (3sn6)

image

Source: http://www.pdb.org/ (pymol rendered)

Why?

I've been working on GPCR structure and function for the past 10 years. The advances made the past years (including the nobel prize) has motivated me even more to study how these membrane receptors function.—Minos Matsoukas

David Wang’s favorite structure is:

bis(octaethylporphyrin)zirconium (IV)

image

Source: ACS Journal of Inorganic Chemistry

Why?

I am currently a high school student intent on pursuing a career in organometallics. One of the main reasons why I love this field is the limitless amount of possibilities – from complex clusters to novel catalysts, there are seemingly no bounds on the structures of the product. In this regard, bis(octaethylporphyrin)zirconium(IV) is exemplary of why I find this subject so intriguing, especially how its outlandish crystal structure can be synthesized
in a relatively standard manner.—David Wang

Eris Walsh’s favorite structure is:

DNA double helix

image

Source:
http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/discovery-of-dna-structure-and-function-watson-397

Why?

The structure of DNA is not only beautiful to look at, but our ability to understand DNA has been instrumental in everything from medical breakthroughs, to solving crimes, to understanding what we are as lifeforms, and how we relate to other life around us. Without our understanding of the structure of the double helix, many of us wouldn't have jobs today!—Eris Walsh

Bradley D. Proffit’s favorite structure is:

Icosahedral Quasicrystals

image

Source: ammin.geoscienceworld.org

Why?

Quasicrystals like these have long-range order but not translational symmetry, and in that way — to me — each tiny grain of every crystal reflects the entire universe. By showing that chance, coincidence, and beauty can all culminate between chemistry, optics, and even theoretical physics in one single crystal, I'm reminded of the oneness scientific pursuits give us in life. That's why we're here! Between a tiny crystal and the entire universe, the same principles are naked to our curious minds… that's why icosahedral quasicrystals are my favorite X-ray crystal structure.—Bradley D. Proffit

Allyson Fry’s favorite structure is:

K3MoO3F3

image

Source: Personal

Why?

This is my favorite crystal structure because the material family had been studied for almost a century, however the structure (cubic perovskite) was not consistent with the properties (ferroelectric response) and I had the opportunity to solve the structure for my PhD. We found that it had a massive unit cell and it added to a growing number of non-cooperative octahedral tilted perovskites. In a nut shell it is my favorite because I feel like I got to see a glimpse into K3MoO3F3 before anyone else.—Allyson Fry

Juan Carlos Munoz’s favorite structure is:

Lonsdaleite

image

Source: webmineral.com

Why?

Lonsdaleite, also called hexagonal diamond in reference to the crystal structure, is an allotrope of carbon with a hexagonal lattice. In nature, it forms when meteorites containing graphite strike the Earth. The great heat and stress of the impact transforms the graphite into diamond, but retains graphite's hexagonal crystal lattice. Lonsdaleite was first identified in 1967 from the Canyon Diablo meteorite, where it occurs as microscopic crystals associated with diamond. Its hardness is theoretically superior to that of cubic diamond.

Sometimes I said to my students that: It is stronger than the strongest.—Juan Carlos Munoz