Over the past several decades lots of different treatments have been developed to fight against cancer. For a long time these treatments focused on making drugs that are very good at killing cancer cells. The problem with these drugs was that they had no way of telling the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells. […]
This week in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (link here), scientists reported that they had made a new type of molecule that soaks up glucose and could be used in the future as a more effective treatment for diabetes.
HIV is a disease that is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Like other viruses, it hijacks the machinery in our own bodies so that it can make copies of itself. HIV specifically targets our immune system, our body’s natural defence system. People with HIV can develop AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) which causes their immune […]
Cholera is a horrible disease caused by infection by a type of bacteria called Vibrio cholera. It causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Without any treatment people can die very quickly from dehydration. This is worst in undeveloped countries or cases of natural disaster, where water supplies can be dirty and the bacteria can spread easily. For example, […]
In my last blog I talked about the structure of some simple sugars like glucose and fructose. These types of sugar are the most simple ones that we will find. They are used as the building blocks for much more complicated sugars. Normally we would call the building block monosaccharides (meaning one sugar) and the […]
Today I will talk about the structure of sugars. What are they made of? What do they look like? And most importantly, how does this affect how they work?
You may already have heard of some different types of sugar. Glucose and fructose are common additives used to sweeten processed foods. And you may find sucrose in a jar on your kitchen table (incidentally sucrose is made by joining together glucose with fructose). However, sugars have many more important and exciting roles in nature than […]