Isabella Karle Discovered Structure Of valinomycin | Discovered Structure Of Venom

Isabella Karle - pioneer of physical chemistry

Article on Isabella Karle

Biography & contributions

Isabella Karle (Isabella Helen Lugoski Karle), an American x-ray crystallographer born on December 02, 1921. Karle is a pioneer of physical chemistry, who invented electron diffraction and then x-ray diffraction.

Isabella Karle worked on chemical analysis by electron diffraction, and invented a apparatus to perform the process.

In year of 1963 Isabella Karle developed the Symbolic Addition Procedure for deriving molecular structures directly from x-ray diffraction experiments on crystals. Symbolic addition procedure is a revolutionized structure analysis and made possible the determination of the structure of complex molecules Symbolic addition procedure is now used to study phenomenon of depressants of blood pressure and radiation damage to the DNA in human cells.

In later years i.e., 1969 she established the structure of venom and in the year of 1975 Karle established the structure of valinomycin.

Isabella Karle was the receiver of various prestigious awards and medals like Women in Science and Engineering's Lifetime Achievement Award in the year of 1986, Franklin Institute's Bower Award in the year of 1993, National Medal of Science in the year of 1995, R Bruce Merri?eld Award in the year of 2007.

Karle is the developer of a method for determining molecular structures of small molecules by X-ray analysis, and for innovative studies of peptide conformation.

Karle developed techniques to extract plutonium chloride from a mixture containing plutonium oxide.


Venom is the general term referring to any variety of toxins used by certain types of animals that inject it into their victims by the means of a bite, sting or other sharp body feature.

Venom composition

Venom generally contain

  • Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Steroids
  • Aminopolysaccharides
  • Amines
  • Quinines
  • Neurotransmitters

Chemicals & enzymes of venom

  • Calcicludine
  • Phosphodiesterases
  • Hyaluronidase
  • Cholinesterase
  • Adenosine Triphosphatase

Facts about valinomycin

Valinomycin is a natural, lipid-soluble molecule that binds potassium ions (K+) and facilitates their transfer across lipid bilayers. Valinomycin is a relatively small, naturally occurring, cyclic molecule comprised of 168 atoms. It strongly resembles a peptide with 12 alpha amino acids.

Valinomycin exhibits a 10,000-fold selectivity for K+ over Na+. Valinomycin is a potent antibiotic. It is commonly used as an agent to induce apoptosis and can also be used to calibrate potentiometric responses in membrane experiments involving potential-sensitive dyes such as di-4-ANEPPS.

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