Meet the molecules

12 Jul 2018

Mirror molecules in plants and fungi

Plants and fungi are two distantly related organisms, but they have coevolved with each other for hundreds of millions of years and established very distinctive metabolisms. Yet interestingly, plants and fungi in some cases, can ‘work out’ their own ways to make structurally very similar, mirror, or even identical molecules.

28 Mar 2018

Vinblastine and vincristine: life-saving drugs from a periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus, also known as Madagascar periwinkle, is a small perennial plant native to  Madagascar. Its attractive white or pink flowers have made it a popular ornamental plant in gardens and homes across the world, but it is also the source of some life-saving drugs.

25 Jan 2018

Introducing B-ODAP

We have known about the effects of β-ODAP (or to give it its full name; β-L-oxalyl-2,3-diaminopropionic acid) for a lot longer than we have known the molecule. 

15 Dec 2017

Meet the molecules; Christmas edition

What give holly berries their red colour? Prof Alison Smith investigates.

1 Nov 2017

Meet the molecules

In the first of a new series, we put one molecule under the microscope and describe what it is, how it's made and what it does. First up we have geosmin; which gives us the smell of soil.

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