The Roslin Institute


Simply Speaking

Within every living organism the genome codes for expression of the molecules that do the majority of the work - the proteins. A single gene can encode a variety of forms of a single protein, depending on how that protein is produced and modified, and so the protein complement of an individual can be much more complex than is defined in a genome. Proteins are large molecules, but living organisms also contain smaller molecules - amino acids, vitamins, steroids, fatty acids etc - that also have important roles. Our research focuses on explaining how and when proteins are made, how they are modified and how they carry out their roles. Although our work is aimed at explaining generically how these processes take place, we also focus on specific, important proteins, such as those responsible for maintaining the envelopes of pathogenic bacteria and which can be targetted by novel antibiotics. Finally, we use technology to profile small molecules - metabolites - in tissues and body fluids to investigate how their profiles change during health and disease.