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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C532236/1
Title: Adventurous Research in Chemistry: From proteins to surfaces
Principal Investigator: Gilmore, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Hartley, Professor R Wilson, Professor CC Cronin, Professor L
Kadodwala, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 11 October 2005 Ends: 10 April 2007 Value (£): 255,195
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Structure
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This is adventurous chemistry research at the edge of what is possible, and asks some hard questions about what we can do in a modern laboratoiPowder diffraction: Proteins are the basic building blocks of our bodies and indeed all living things, and we need to know what they look like in ordi understand how they work. This is especially important when you want to design new drugs for example. Some proteins are easy to study - you ma crsyatls and X-ray them, but some are very difficult indeed. One way to look at these is to grind them into a powder and X-ray this. This is much ha to work with than single crystals but it should be possible to get some shape information, and this could be invaluable information.Nucleation: Small molecules often behave badly. We are interested in a particular type of bad behaviour. When molecules join up to form a regul~ crystal you might expect that they will always do so in the same way, because the forces that make it happen should be the same. But no, sometir identical molecules form different types of crystals; we call this polymorphism. This can be serious. For example, in the drug industry many milUor pounds can be spent developing a certain molecule to have an effect like stopping headaches. Then, suddenly, up pops a new polymorph and it c go wrong. We are looking at why this happens, and in particular we want to look at the very early microscopic steps the molecules take in starting form a crystal. If we can see how the first few hundred molecules join together, we may be able to understand better why they can do so in differer ways. We might even then be able to control it and stop the awkward polymorphs from getting in the way.Evolution of moleular oxides: One-pot or single beaker reactions are perhaps the most efficient way of assembling complex molecular systems suc nano-scale clusters, but there is a problem. Large clusters are formed yet the construction principle is very hard to imagine let alone deduce, and means that it is difficult to work out which parameters to change to construct different clusters with different chemical personalities. It is even more difficult if we wish to produce clusters with interesting abilities but are still stable or viable molecules. Life overcomes this by allowing evolution to produce a diverse population of viable life forms that evolve to a given set of conditions. In this project we aim to see if, by using an approach that allows for the possibility of molecular evolution, we can evolve more and more complex clusters as a function of the external environment, yet still r the stability of their less evolved counterparts.Double display radical detectors: Radical oxygen species cause much of the damage that results in ageing in cells. New chemistry is necessary tc probe where and how this damage is occurring. Our probes have a chemically unique and unexplored combination of a spin trap and a radical cloc that will allow radical activity to be displayed in two different and potentially independent modes. This should dramatically increase the sensitivity c radical detection and identification. In this project, we aim to prepare the first dual display probes and to establish that they function chemically according to our design.Raman scattering: We intend to observe for the first time the phenomenon of optical active surface enhanced hyper-Raman scattering (OA-HRS), would be the basis of a flexible and generic technique that would provide chirally sensitive vibrational information on interfaces. If favourable prelin data is obtained the technique will be developed to a point where in can be exploited in areas as diverse has biophysical measurements and catalysis.
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk