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Lysozyme has been crystallized using the ESA Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility onboard the NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter during the IML-2 mission. CCD video monitoring was used to follow the crystallization process and evaluate the growth rate. During the mission some tetragonal crystals were observed moving over distances of up to 200 μm. This was correlated with microgravity disturbances caused by firings of vernier jets on the Orbiter. Growth-rate measurement of a stationary crystal (which had nucleated on the growth reactor wall) showed spurts and lulls correlated with an onboard activity: astronaut exercise. The stepped growth rates may be responsible for the residual mosaic block structure seen in crystal mosaicity and topography measurements.

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CCD video sequence


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CCD video sequence

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