The Optical Rotation of Irradiated Ovalbumin

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Proteins, radiation, protein structure, ovalbumin, chemistry


Chemistry | Organic Chemistry | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of living matter. Variety and specificity among proteins arise from their enormity in size and intricacy in structure. A typical protein has a molecular weight of 100,000. The molecular architecture is fundamental to such concepts as enzymatic specificity and antigenicity, for instance. Of utmost importance for further investigation into the actions of living organisms is additional knowledge of the structure of proteins and the structural changes induced by various means.

A prominent and important means of altering protein structure is the radiation from nuclear sources. Therefore, the effect of radiation upon protein is extremely important. Already many practical possibilities would become apparent if more were known about the effect of radiation on protein structure. Particularly important is the knowledge of how the protein structure affects such behaviors as enzymatic specificity, virus reproduction, antigen-antibody reactions, etc. The specific possibility of using gamma radiation to produce polio vaccine from live virus and to sterilize food have been presented. Fundamental to this problem is the effect of gamma radiation upon proteins. Work has already begun with these objectives in mind.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status


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