Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


A down-to-Earth approach

In seeking out ideal conditions for growing protein crystals, solutions have increasingly been found in the low-gravity conditions of space. But answers might be lurking in fields closer to home.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Suspended animation.



  1. Heijna, M. C. R. et al. Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 264105 (2007).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Snell, E. H. & Helliwell, J. R. Rep. Prog. Phys. 68, 799–853 (2005).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Chayen, N. E. & Helliwell, J. R. Nature 398, 20 (1999).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Boggon, T. J. et al. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A 356, 1045–1061 (1998).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Berry, M. V. & Geim, A. K. Eur. J. Phys. 18, 307–313 (1997).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Poodt, P. W. G. et al. Cryst. Growth Des. 6, 2275–2280 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Garcia-Ruiz, J. M. & Moreno, A. Acta Cryst. D 50, 484–490 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Blakeley, M. P. et al. Chem. Soc. Rev. 33, 548–557 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Sazaki, G. et al. J. Cryst. Growth 173, 231–234 (1997).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Ataka, M. et al. J. Cryst. Growth 173, 592–596 (1997).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Saijo, S. et al. Acta Cryst. D 61, 207–217 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Sazaki, G., Moreno, A. & Nakajima, K. J. Cryst. Growth 262, 499–502 (2004).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Al-Haq, M. I. et al. Crystallogr. Rev. 13, 29–64 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Al-Haq, M. I. et al. J. Appl. Cryst. 40, 199–201 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Helliwell, J., Chayen, N. A down-to-Earth approach. Nature 448, 658–659 (2007).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing