Since modern crystallography dawned with X-ray diffraction experiments on crystals by Max von Laue in 1912 and William and Lawrence Bragg (a father-and-son team) in 1913, and was recognized by Nobel prizes in physics for von Laue in 1914 and the Braggs in 1915, the discipline has informed almost every branch of the natural sciences. This Nature special issue explores the highlights, evolution and future of the field. And in July 2014, NPG will publish Nature Milestones: Crystallography to further celebrate the International Year of Crystallography.


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