Rachel Brazil talks to the scientists trying to understand the sweet mystery of the glycome
News from Jan 06, 2020
Within our body, simple sugars such as glucose, mannose and fucose connect together to create the complex polysaccharides or glycans that adorn all cell surfaces in a thick coat of sugars. But unlike the genome and the proteome, the glycome is still somewhat a mystery – in part because the chemistry of glycans is so complex. Our bodies synthesise thousands of unique glycans, but there are few analytical methods that can effectively elucidate their structures. And unlike DNA and proteins, which are assembled linearly, glycans are highly branched, making them hard to synthesise. But clever chemistry is providing solutions and bringing us closer to cracking the sugar code.