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Molecular model showing the structure of insulin, England, 1967

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In 1935, Dorothy M Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-94), a British chemist and crystallographer, published the first X-ray photograph of insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas to break down sugars in the body. But Hodgkin and her team were unable to determine the 3-D structure of insulin until 1969, when this model was made. The larger metal balls in the model represent zinc, which was introduced chemically into the protein to decode the rest.

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    Glossary: molecular model

    a physical model that represents molecules and their processes and structures

    Glossary: insulin

    A hormone that causes the body's cells to take up glucose from the blood. (Diabetes is the loss of control of the body's levels of insulin.)