Collection Item Summary:
Syringes such as this one were used in protein crystal growth experiments on the Space Shuttle. Astronauts activated experiments by injecting a solution into a growth cell to start the process of protein crystal growth. By experimenting with different proteins, solutions, and growth conditions, researchers learned more about producing protein crystals large enough to be studied well. This knowledge is important for medical, drug, and agricultural research.
Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, actively involved in experiments for Shuttle flights, gave this item and a large set of protein crystal growth equipment to the Museum in 2012.