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Protein sequencer, California, United States of America, 1985

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The protein sequencer breaks down proteins into amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and analyses their sequence. Amino acids are molecules critical to the metabolism of the human body. They are also used in the food and technological industries in the form of flavourings and biodegradable plastics. The sequencer performs four operations repeatedly in the same order during the synthesis: meter, transfer, mix and drain. However, the machine was never used. It was donated to the Science Museum’s collections by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1993.

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Glossary: biochemistry

The study of the chemical processes and substances which occur in living organisms.

Glossary: protein sequencer

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