Author Archives: Cele Abad-Zapatero

About Cele Abad-Zapatero

Biophysicist, Protein Crystallographer, Drug Designer and Science Writer. Licenciado Degree, University of Valladolid, Spain, 1969. Physics, Mathematics. Graduate work, University of Salamanca, 1969-1972. Biological Sciences. Fullbright Scholarship for Graduate studies in the USA (1972). Ph. D. University of Texas at Austin, 1978. Biophysics Postdoc with M.G.Rossmann, Purdue University, 1979-1985. Group Leader-Associate Research Fellow, Abbott Laboratories-Retired 2008. Adjunct Professor to the Graduate Faculty, University of Illinois at Chicago. current

Nature: A century of Crystallography

I have another blog posting ready, dealing with the determination of the first three-dimensional structures of viruses in late 1970’s and early 1980’s. I am just waiting for a copyright permission to reproduce an image. Hopefully, it will not be

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

The Gothic Rose Windows and the Meaning of Symmetry

I need to apologize to the reader for not having written anything during the last few months. They have been months of frantic traveling and activity in the professional front, related to the celebration of the IYCr2014 at the UNESCO

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

An eloquent statement about the importance of crystallography

As the year 2014 approaches, more and more institutions all over the world prepare to celebrate the International Year of Crystallography  (IYCr2014) with all kinds of activities and media to communicate to the lay public the importance of this obscure

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

Honoring our Mathematical Methods Developers: Jorge Navaza craftsman of the FRF

The end result of the efforts of the crystallographic community is a set of Cartesian coordinates (x,y,z,  for each atom) that represent the arrangement of the atoms in the molecules inside the crystal.  These results have been stored since the

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

Falling in Love with Mathematics and Crystallography

An op-ed article by Manil Suri (Professor of Mathematics, University of Maryland) in the New York Times on Monday, September 16 ( eloquently expresses the dismay of the author when he faces the shallow perception that the general public have

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

Crystals: What is the Secret Underneath the Forms?

  In the vernacular usage, the word ‘crystal’ resonates with purity, perfection, transparency and even durability. In ‘crystalore’, crystals are supposed to have special properties to energize and heal people. These exceptional attributes of crystals are stretched to the limit

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

‘Leaves of Crystals’ or ‘Crystals of Leaves’

On August 1999, crystallographers from all over the world met in Glasgow, Scotland for the XVIIIth International Congress of Crystallography sponsored by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr). The IUCr is the international association of crystallographic societies that was formed

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

A connection between Oriental Studies and Crystallography

An obituary in the New York Times published June 22, 2013 had a brief review of the life and societal contributions of Martin Gardiner Bernal (1937-2013) (, an Oriental studies scholar who taught Chinese history at Cornell University for thirty

Posted in Crystal Edges | Leave a comment

Celebrating the Magic of Crystals ( International Year of Crystallography 2014: IYCr2014)

April 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of an amazing modern science named ‘crystallography’. This is the scientific thread that originated with the description and analysis of those mysterious and amazing pieces of matter that were referred to

Posted in Crystal Edges | 5 Comments