Study sheds new light on key to life on earth

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University of Manchester scientists have discovered exactly how plants obtain energy from sunlight through chlorophyll production in a study that helps to explain the design and activity of all enzymes

Professor Nigel Scrutton and his team at the Faculty of Life Sciences have not only gained a more detailed understanding of the production of the most abundant and life sustaining chemical on Earth, they also expect to apply their findings to all enzymes thus allowing the design of novel clinical and industrial processes.

The study, published in the latest edition of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC), also takes in quantum tunnelling, a newly discovered enzyme mechanism where they use energy to blast through rather than climb a chemical reaction.

Professor Scrutton says: ‘Chlorophyll is the most abundant and arguably the most important chemical on planet Earth. Without it, there would be no life on Earth as it allows plants to convert light into chemical energy.

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