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Cherie Booth QC opens world-leading genomics research facility at CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory

31.01.2005


Cherie Booth QC today opened a world-leading facility at CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory which is designed to understand how genes make proteins. The £3 million facility will use powerful X-rays from Daresbury Laboratory’s Synchrotron Radiation Source and advanced automation techniques to solve complex protein structures. This will underpin advances in research and healthcare.



The facility, a new beamline on Daresbury Laboratory’s Synchrotron Radiation Source (SRS), is a collaboration between the Laboratory and Liverpool John Moores, Liverpool and Manchester Universities, Astra Zeneca and Astex Technology.

Cherie Booth QC, Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, said, ‘I am delighted to open this world-leading research tool. Advanced facilities of this kind are vital if the UK is to take a lead in using the information contained in our genes to develop new medicines and improve the quality of life for millions around the world.’


The information contained in the genes of living organisms is a blueprint to allow a cell to make a protein. Proteins are the workhorses of the cell and carry out the essential functions that keep us alive. Where genes are faulty through, for example, inherited disease then they can make proteins which either don’t work or don’t work correctly. In order to develop medicines to treat these diseases researchers need to know the three-dimensional structure of the proteins at atomic detail. It is this essential information which the new structural genomics facility at Daresbury Laboratory will provide.

Professor Samar Hasnain, co-ordinator for the North West Structural Genomics Centre, said, ‘In addition to work on genetic diseases, this world-leading facility will allow us to begin to translate gene sequences directly into protein structures – an essential step for understanding the biology of how pathogens affect humans. Many of these protein structures could become future targets for new drugs and medical treatments.’

Tony Buckley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cclrc.ac.uk

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