Rate of PDB Holdings Growth Predicted in 1978?

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In 1978, Richard E. Dickerson examined the number of available crystal structures. Based upon that number, he came upon an equation to describe the exponential growth for solved crystal structures.

In a letter describing a book he was working on with Irving Geis, Dickerson noted (and illustrated with a hand-drawn graph) that the number of new structures appeared to be following the exponential law, n = exp(0.19 y), where n is the number of new structures per year and y is the year number since 1960. This equation predicted that at the end of 2001, there would be 13,941 crystal structure entries available in the PDB (approximately 14,000 crystal structures were available in Feb., 2002). Using this equation, there should be 24,667 crystal structures in 2004.

Thanks to Arthur Arnone, who noticed that there were 57 structures more than Dickerson's equation predicted in March 2001. Predictions for the rate of NMR structures may be sent to info@rcsb.org.