Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Study reveals a microbe's molecular role in Crohn's disease

Changes in the gut microbiome have long been linked with Crohn's disease and other forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but the biology behind those links has remained murky. Researchers at the Broad Institute, Massachusetts ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Scientists discover how superbugs hide from their host

New research led by the University of Sheffield has discovered how a hospital superbug evades the immune system to cause infection – paving the way for new treatments.

Oncology & Cancer

Could the next anti-cancer drug be made from seafood?

Biomedical scientists at the University of Salford found that sugars from the common cockle (Cerastoderma edule) were approximately as effective as some standard chemotherapy drugs at relative lower dosage.

Medical research

Treating nutritional iron-deficiency anemia in children

In a study published by JAMA, Jacquelyn M. Powers, M.D., M.S., of the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and colleagues compared two medications, ferrous sulfate and iron polysaccharide complex, for the treatment of nutritional ...

Immunology

Mechanism of probiotic health promotion revealed

In several clinical trials, the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus paracasei DG has been shown to promote health, but until now, the mechanism has remained a black box. New research now suggests that the health benefits arise ...

Oncology & Cancer

A natural sugar delivers DNA aptamer drug inside tumor cells

Drugs comprised of single strands of DNA, called aptamers, can bind to targets inside tumor cells causing cell death. But these DNA drugs cannot readily get inside tumor cells on their own. Effective delivery of DNA aptamers ...

Medical research

Target two forms of iron to control cystic fibrosis lung infection

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa needs iron to establish and maintain a biofilm in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, and therapies have been proposed to deprive the bacteria of this necessary element. However, these ...

Autism spectrum disorders

Scientists develop first vaccine to help control autism symptoms

A first-ever vaccine created by University of Guelph researchers for gut bacteria common in autistic children may also help control some autism symptoms. The groundbreaking study by Brittany Pequegnat and Guelph chemistry ...

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Polysaccharide

Polysaccharides are long carbohydrate molecules, of repeated monomer units joined together by glycosidic bonds. They range in structure from linear to highly branched. Polysaccharides are often quite heterogeneous, containing slight modifications of the repeating unit. Depending on the structure, these macromolecules can have distinct properties from their monosaccharide building blocks. They may be amorphous or even insoluble in water.

When all the monosaccharides in a polysaccharide are the same type, the polysaccharide is called a homopolysaccharide or homoglycan, but when more than one type of monosaccharide is present they are called heteropolysaccharides or heteroglycans.

Examples include storage polysaccharides such as starch and glycogen, and structural polysaccharides such as cellulose and chitin.

Polysaccharides have a general formula of Cx(H2O)y where x is usually a large number between 200 and 2500. Considering that the repeating units in the polymer backbone are often six-carbon monosaccharides, the general formula can also be represented as (C6H10O5)n where 40≤n≤3000.

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