Assessing the Importance and Impact of Glycomics and Glycosciences Phase II

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Glycans form one of the four basic classes of macromolecules in living systems, along with nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. They are composed of individual sugar units that can be linked to one another in multiple ways, enabling them to form complex three-dimensional structures. In living systems, glycans are involved in myriad processes that are part of normal cellular physiology, development, and signaling, as well as in the development of both chronic and infectious diseases. Because of their ubiquity on cell surfaces, they are key components of biological interfaces and are involved in molecular recognition and signaling. They are also ... continued below

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Zolandz, Dorothy February 7, 2013.

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Description

Glycans form one of the four basic classes of macromolecules in living systems, along with nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids. They are composed of individual sugar units that can be linked to one another in multiple ways, enabling them to form complex three-dimensional structures. In living systems, glycans are involved in myriad processes that are part of normal cellular physiology, development, and signaling, as well as in the development of both chronic and infectious diseases. Because of their ubiquity on cell surfaces, they are key components of biological interfaces and are involved in molecular recognition and signaling. They are also important molecules in cell adhesion and cell movement. Meanwhile, glycans on proteins inside cells participate in the cell’s responses to incoming signals, for example by helping to modulate gene expression and protein functions. Glycan polymers such as cellulose are important components of plant cell walls. Understanding how such walls are assembled and how they can be deconstructed is fundamental to basic plant biology, but also in the development of applications such as efficient conversion of biomass into fuels. Glycan polymers derived from plants and other organisms can also serve as sources of new materials with wide-ranging applications from tissue engineering scaffolds to flexible electronic displays. Achieving an understanding of the structures and functions of glycans is fundamental to understanding biology. The National Research Council report resulting from this project, Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future, discusses the impact glycoscience can have across health, energy, and materials science and lays out a roadmap of research goals whose achievement could help the field become a widely-recognized and integrated discipline rather than a niche area studied by a small number of specialists. Despite advances, gaps remain in the current suite of tools for investigating glycans and these tools often require expert users and facilities, presenting a barrier for many investigators. The field is poised to benefit from the pursuit of the framework laid out in the study, which incorporates not only human physiology and health but also plant, animal, and microbial research and efforts to improve tools for synthesis, analysis, data management, and other fundamental research infrastructure.

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  • Report No.: Final Technical Report
  • Grant Number: SC0007069
  • DOI: 10.2172/1062390 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1062390
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc827610

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  • February 7, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 1:05 p.m.

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Zolandz, Dorothy. Assessing the Importance and Impact of Glycomics and Glycosciences Phase II, report, February 7, 2013; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc827610/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.