Life is a series of chemical reactions governed by thermodynamics and kinetics. Being able to correctly position atoms in biomolecules transforms our understanding of biological processes. Rosalind Franklin’s diffraction image of DNA fibre was an early example of the power of structural biology, it stimulated Watson and Crick to construct the DNA double helix model that directly led to the molecular biology revolution. Structural biology and its cousin chemical biology, have grown to encompass a wide range of techniques in addition to X-ray diffraction. In my lecture I will cover some examples where atomic level study of proteins has uncovered new insights, led to new biotechnology and provided a starting point for a new antimicrobials.