Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

York scientists to explore link between copper and arsenic in sheep liver

10.12.2004


Scientists at the University of York are to take part in research into a rare breed of sheep, which could yield clues for the development of a drug to treat a medical condition affecting one in 30,000 people worldwide.



The three-year study will be carried out by a collaborative team of researchers from the universities of Aberdeen, Liverpool and York, which has been awarded £413,000 by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The team will use sheep whose diet comprises of pasture and seaweed. The researchers will look at the elements found in the liver of these sheep, characterised by an extremely high level of arsenic compared with a low copper level.


In the past, research has shown that the North Ronaldsay sheep have an amazing capacity to withstand huge amounts of arsenic. They ingest quantities of arsenic, which is toxic in its elemental form, at levels many times higher than are considered safe yet show no signs of being affected.

Traditionally, scientists have been interested only in the total concentration of metals in biological tissues. However, the molecular form of the metals determines the interaction with biomolecules and essential processes of life.

The first part of the study will involve the researchers trying to develop an analytical method for the determination of the molecular form of the metals found in the sheep liver. The second part will involve applying the technique with the potential to develop pharmaceuticals for people who are being treated for Wilson’s disease, a genetic disorder that causes an abnormally high copper level in the liver or brain.

One of the major aims of the project will be to establish if metals are related in any way to this disease. The initiative is being led by Professor Jörg Feldmann, Environmental Analytical Chemistry, of the University of Aberdeen in collaboration with Dr Susan Haywood, of Liverpool University and Professor Jane Thomas-Oates, of the University of York. Dr Susan Haywood has an established breeding flock of the North Ronaldsay sheep with studies already in progress on the role of copper in diseases of the liver and brain with colleagues in the School of Preclinical Veterinary Sciences. She will provide the required resource for the later work of metal (copper) speciation. Two post-docs (one from the University of Aberdeen and one from University of York) will also be working on the study.

Professor Feldmann, said: “In the last two years there has been tremendous interest in the key interaction of metals in biomolecules. This project is highly innovative, attempting to access a source of biomolecules that has not been tapped before and is the only work of its kind in the UK being carried out at this level.

“The methods that my collaborators and myself will develop in this project are generic and therefore applicable for the study of other tissues and other systems. Hence protein chemists, biochemists, toxicologists and pathologists will benefit enormously, since this approach will open up new opportunities to establish a range of metal-protein interactions.

“This study will provide essential information for the food industry in which it is important to know in which form we should take up essential metals and how toxic metals can be wrapped up. It may also provide clues about why, in cumulative amounts, metals like copper are somehow linked to metal-related diseases like Alzheimer’s, BSE, and Wilson’s disease and could pave the way for the development of drugs to treat some of these medical conditions.”

David Garner | alfa
Further information:
http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/presspr/pressreleases/sheeparsenic.htm
http://www.york.ac.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>