Shortlisted entries 2011

13. Molecular Fishing
People, Dr Adam Byron

Cells of our body make us who we are. They help us move, they help us grow, they help us think. Cells in our body must work together by constantly communicating with each other. Cells talk to each other by using different combinations of molecules, just as we use different combinations of words. Unfortunately, when we get a disease, some cells cannot communicate properly: their molecules become muddled or go missing. The challenge for scientists like me is to work out which molecules go wrong in disease. To do this, I use a technique similar to fishing, but I use a tiny molecular fishing rod to catch the communication molecules from cells! If we can work out which of these molecules go wrong in disease, we may be able to fix them. This will help us better treat diseases such as asthma, arthritis and cancer.

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