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The complex life of sugars

The complex life of sugars. The University of Manchester
Complex Life of Sugars website

The team

A team of scientists from research groups at The University of Manchester, Imperial College London, University of Liverpool, the John Innes Centre and University of Leeds.

The science behind the exhibit

What do crab shells and t-shirts have in common? How can trees grow so tall? What makes human eggs ‘sticky’? The answer to all of these questions is ‘sugar’! Sugars are all around us in many surprising forms, playing crucial roles in everything from food and fuel, to fertility and disease. Meet the scientists who are working to understand what sugars do in nature and how we can use them for the next generation of biotechnology. Through experiments, model building, animation and games, we will introduce you to The Complex Life of Sugars.

About the exhibit

  • Build a cell surface sugar model and see how this interacts with the cell invaders that cause disease
  • Go head-to-head in the fast and furious Race for Fertilisation game
  • Use our glucose testing kit to test a variety of foodstuffs for their sugar content
  • Use a microscope to view the sugar structures in plants
  • Play our award-winning Cell Invaders game on iPads, which you can download for free!





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The complex life of sugars