The technologies featured in the special issue have little to do with the latest crop of gadgets and gizmos. Technology Review editors have searched university and corporate labs around the world to find new areas of technology that promise to transform industries such as computing, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, and energy. For each technology, Technology Review has profiled one researcher or research team whose work exemplifies the field's possibilities.
The field Paulson represents, "glycomics," is the scientific pursuit of identifying and studying all of the carbohydrate molecules produced by an organism such as a human or mouse. Like proteomics, the study of all the proteins produced by an organism, glycomics is important for unraveling the mysteries of the recently solved human genome because more than half of all the proteins in the human body have carbohydrate molecules attached.
The precise interactions between carbohydrates and proteins continue to mystify scientists, though, because carbohydrates have proven to be extremely difficult to study. Unlike proteins, which are produced for the most part from a single template--an individual gene transcript--carbohydrates are made by a cascade of chemical reactions inside our bodies. Many of these reactions are extremely hard to replicate in the lab.
"The complex, branched structures of carbohydrates have prevented the development of efficient and routine metho
Contact: Jason Bardi
Scripps Research Institute