Observing Chirality

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of observational skills in Science. Keen observations underpinned much of the work of the founders of Science and Art from Aristotle and beyond. Perhaps the greatest advocate of observation was the polymath, and all round genius, Leonardo da Vinci.  Leonardo’s notebooks incorporate his detailed musings and advice on the primacy of […]

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Welcome to the first in a new series of posts that provide an historical perspective on the scientists and their discoveries, that underpin our understanding of the mechanism of action of enzymes. Some of the links to these discoveries may seem a little tenuous at first, but I hope to persuade you otherwise. Sir Isaac Newton […]

How do enzymes work? Part 1

A dramatic image of a cytosine-specific DNA methytransferase caught in the act of modifying its target nucleic acid. Taken from the work of Xiaodong Cheng and Rich Roberts and their colleagues The title of this post might seem an elementary question, and one for which a satisfactory answer would appear in an Internet search within […]

Cofactors Lend a Helping Hand

A low resolution physical model of the enzyme L-glutamate dehydrogenase from C. symbiosum. The cofactor NAD is shown bound to the hexameric enzyme in white. The inset shows the bound NAD in the enzyme active site at high resolution. This work is from the laboratories of Professors David Rice and Paul Engel at the University […]

Moonlighting Enzymes

Ten years ago, when I was explaining the molecular basis of enzyme specificity to a group of students, I mentioned that the enzyme, aconitase exhibted two independent functions. It led me to write a short Blog post on what was at the time a relatively new concept in enzymology called “moonlighting”. That is, the unexpected alternative functions or […]

Post-Genomic Bio-Prospecting

When I think of prospecting, I immediately think of the California Gold Rush and the ’49ers. The equivalent of “gold” in bio-prospecting might be a vividly coloured pigment, a sweet flavour, a natural pain killer or some form of material with unusual properties, such as latex.  Today, many prospectors, from individuals to large organisations continue to comb […]

Enzymes Evolution and Entropy

Enzymes have been instrumental in driving the evolution of Life on Earth and at Entropix, we believe they hold the key to solving many of our post-industrial challenges. Using the power of Directed Evolution, we are paving the way for enzymes to replace many of the conventional steps used in manufacturing. We are targeting approaches […]