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The complex life of sugars

Sugars provide the building blocks of life, and most of the Earth’s biomass. They provide energy for living cells and are important molecules in food and medicines. We now know that they also play a key role in how cells communicate with each other, from fertilisation to the body’s response to infection and cancer.

This exhibit will showcase how the study of these sugars can help improve our lives. Understanding their interactions gives us the exciting new opportunity to develop new foods, medicines and healthcare treatments. The possibility are extensive, and including being able to quickly tell the difference being between pandemic, seasonal and bird flu and develop correct treatments quickly.  As the sugars that coat our cells are all unique, a bit like our fingerprints, so we could use this information to make personalised medicines and treatments in the future.

This exhibit is presented by The University of Manchester, Imperial College London, University of Liverpool, John Innes Centre and University of Leeds