Kendrew's original model of the myoglobin molecule

Made:
1957 in Cambridge
maker:
John Cowdery Kendrew

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

The original model of the myoglobin molecule, (the first ever to be made of protein molecule) constructed in plasticine in 1957 by Dr. J.C. (later Sir John) Kendrew; the contorted cylindrical shape, showing the track of polypeptide chain, is supported by wooden rods protruding from a pegboard base; an attached label reads "Medical Research/ Laboratory of Molecular Biology/Cambridge"; dimensions of base 18" x 1 1/2"; overall height 8 1/2"

Made in 1957, this plasticine model of myoglobin was the first model ever made showing the structure of a protein molecule. In 1957 Dr John Kendrew and his colleagues successfully interpreted a detailed X-Ray analysis of myoglobin crystals and were able to propose a tentative structure of a protein molecule for the first time.

As a result of his work on myoglobin Dr Kendrew was awarded the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1962, alongside Dr M F Perutz who pioneered work in X-Ray crystallography of haemoglobin.

Related people

Details

Category:
Experimental Chemistry
Object Number:
1975-533
Materials:
paint, plasticine, wood (unidentified)
type:
proteins
credit:
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

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