Apr 12, 2024

First fractal molecule in nature recently discovered by accident

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An international team of researchers has stumbled upon a remarkable discovery — the first regular molecular fractal in nature.

This fascinating finding, led by groups from the Max Planck Institute and the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, has unveiled a microbial enzyme that spontaneously assembles into a pattern known as the Sierpinski triangle.

The enzyme, identified as citrate synthase from a cyanobacterium, was discovered by chance. “We stumbled on this structure completely by accident and almost couldn’t believe what we saw when we first took images of it using an electron microscope,” says Franziska Sendker, the study’s first author.

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