The researchers found a new way of measuring the activity of a group of enzymes called DNA topoisomerases that help package DNA, the molecule that stores genetic information, into cells. Chemicals that block these enzymes could be developed into new anti-cancer and anti-bacterial drugs.
The previous method used for measuring the activity of topoisomerases is time consuming and labour-intensive; this new technique is faster, more accurate and could be automated with robotics to screen thousands of chemicals and identify those with the potential to be made into drugs.
“This development is really exciting because it will speed up the whole discovery process for this type of drug. A quicker and more accurate screen will allow more potential drugs to be assessed and therefore aid the search for urgently needed new anti-cancer and antibacterial drugs” says Tony Maxwell. “A patent for the technique has been granted and we already have several pharmaceutical companies that are interested in licensing the technology”.
The technique has been patented and will be marketed by PBL, the technology management company of the John Innes Centre, and will be further developed by Inspiralis Ltd, a spin-out company housed in the Norwich Bioincubator.
The research was funded by the BBSRC and PBL and is published online in the peer-reviewed journal Nucleic Acids Research.
Making fuel out of thick air
08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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