Key enzymes for synthesizing natural products

Plants, fungi and bacteria produce natural products that function as defenses that are deployed against predators and competitors. In medicine, these compounds have such applications as antibiotics, cancer drugs and cholesterol ...

Harnessing the moonseed plant's chemical know-how

In overgrown areas from Canada to China, a lush, woody vine with crescent-shaped seeds holds the secret to making a cancer-fighting chemical. Now, Whitehead Institute researchers in Member Jing-Ke Weng's lab have discovered ...

Building blocks of all life gain new understanding

New research on an enzyme that is essential for photosynthesis and all life on earth has uncovered a key finding in its structure which reveals how light can interact with matter to make an essential pigment for life.

Construction kit for custom-designed products

Microorganisms often assemble natural products similar to product assembly lines. Certain enzymes, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), play a key role in this process. Biotechnologists at Goethe University have now ...

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