Sweet chemistry

A new approach to synthesizing carbohydrates that could have applications in medicine, the food industry, and research, has been developed by Iowa State University chemists Beatrice Collet and Nikki Pohl. Their patented approach could supply researchers with custom sugar molecules on demand within 24 hours as opposed to 12 months. Startup company Lucelle Biosciences Inc has been established to exploit the new chemical technology. The approach has been likened to advances in DNA synthesis during the last few years and could lead to rapid developments in research and carbohydrate-based vaccines.