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The results of X-ray diffraction studies of both small and large molecules of biological interest have greatly enhanced our understanding of many biochemical processes such as enzyme mechanisms, nucleic acid flexibility and virus assembly. Since biologists are primarily interested in biology, if a physical method is described to them, it is important that it be carefully explained how the results can be of use in understanding some aspect of biology. Since most biology students are very familiar with the microscope, some of the analogies described below are very useful (e.g. Fig. 1). Some ideas for a short 10 minute exposition and for a short course are given below. It is best to have lots of visual demonstrations.
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