Renée Szostek’s favorite structure is:



Source: C&EN and the Science Museum, London


My favorite X-ray crystal structure is penicillin, which Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin first elucidated. Penicillin was the first molecule to have its structure elucidated entirely by X-ray diffraction data, which Hodgkin obtained through arduous effort. The X-ray crystal structure showed that penicillin contained a beta-lactam ring, the existence of which had previously been the subject of considerable debate. Penicillin has been vitally important in combating infections and diseases. Hodgkins' elucidation of its structure, therefore, has benefited medicine and human health, as well as chemistry.  —Renée Szostek

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