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 ...
Date: February 7, 2013
Creator: Zolandz, Dorothy
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department