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Nature Sugar structure: not as sweet as it seems

Posted on 20 April 2015

Scientists at the University of York have identified problems with nearly half of the structural data on carbohydrate molecules available to the scientific community.

Carbohydrates, commonly known as sugars, are complex biological molecules linked to many fundamental cellular processes in living organisms.  They are, for instance, essential to the function of the antibodies our immune systems use to identify and combat bacteria and viruses.  However, new research by scientists at the York Structural Biology Laboratory (YSBL) in the University’s Department of Chemistry, published in Nature Chemical Biology, reveals that much of the deposited data on carbohydrate structures may be flawed.

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