Research Highlights

Scientists have developed an approach that could help in the design of a new generation of synthetic biomaterials made from proteins. The biomaterials could eventually have applications in joint repair or wound healing as well as other fields of healthcare and food production. But one of the fundamental challenges is to control and fine tune…
An international team of researchers has shed new light on the way viruses evolved highly effective ways of spreading disease. The scientists, involving a team from the universities of Leeds and York, believe understanding that key moment in the natural history of viruses may eventually help with the design of novel delivery mechanisms for gene…
Scientists at Leeds are part of an international collaboration that has designed a protein that self-assembles into an artificial pore. The protein sequence spontaneously transforms into a “transmembrane beta-barrel” – a tiny conduit or pore that embeds itself into a lipid membrane, mimicking its natural counterparts which are found in the walls of bacterial cells…
Researchers have for the first time identified the way viruses like the poliovirus and the common cold virus ‘package up’ their genetic code, allowing them to infect cells. Once a cell is infected, a virus needs to spread its genetic material to other cells. This is a complex process involving the creation of what are…
University of Leeds research has shown how microbubbles carrying powerful cancer drugs can be guided to the site of a tumour using antibodies. Microbubbles are small manufactured spheres half the size of a red blood cell – and scientists believe they can be used to transport drugs to highly specific locations within the body. Professor…
A visualisation made from nearly 100,000 electron microscope images has revealed the ingenious way a protein involved in muscle activity shuts itself down to conserve energy. The protein, called myosin, is known as a molecular motor because of the way it interacts with other proteins and energy molecules to generate force and movement. It is…
Scientists have discovered how drug-like small molecules can regulate the activity of therapeutically relevant ion channels – and their findings could transform ongoing drug development efforts. The new study provides detailed insight into the regulation of TRPC5 ion channels, which allow positively charged ions such as calcium, sodium and potassium to flow in and out…
Researchers at the University of Leeds and University of Cambridge demonstrated that tiny gold nanotubes could treat cancer caused by asbestos fibres. In the study, the scientists showed that – when inside cancer cells – the nanotubes can absorb light, which causes them to heat up and kill the cells. The new research may pave…
The University of Leeds has secured a £5.4 million grant to identify new techniques for investigating and manipulating the chemical building blocks of life – proteins. The five-year project – in collaboration with the University of Oxford – will lead to a better understanding of fundamental biochemical processes and will identify new research strategies for…
Scientists have for the first time identified the structure of a protein fibre linked to early-onset type 2 diabetes. In research published in the journal Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, scientists at the University of Leeds report that they have been able to visualise the structure of amylin fibrils using the latest electron microscope technology….