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Nature’s catalysts

12 Apr, 2012

Exploring the function of enzymes and how they might be used to fight microscopic pathogens is the focus of a team of researchers at the University of Canterbury.

Listen to audio: Nature’s catalysts

Duration: 23:11

Enzymes are nature’s own catalysts. They speed up biological reactions to a rate that can support life. Recent developments in technology have allowed scientists to describe the structure and sequence of the amino-acid building blocks of these proteins in sufficient detail to understand how they function.

In this programme, Associate Professor Emily Parker explains how her team explores enzymatic reactions. The team’s focus is on specific enzymes that are essential to certain pathogenic bacteria. Understanding the role of enzymes in chemical reactions within these organisms enables the researchers to synthesise molecules and create antibiotic drugs to selectively target those processes.

Programme details: Our Changing World

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