Ajit Varki, distinguished professor of medicine and of cellular and molecular medicine, and codirector of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center, University of California, San Diego
Studying the bioaccumulation of a specific antigenic, nonhuman, sialic acid called N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), which enters into human tissues from animal-derived products and some biotechnology products.
No known lectin binds specifically to Neu5Gc, which makes routine detection of small amounts of the sugar a challenge.
Though humans cannot synthesize Neu5Gc, it is bioaccumulating in human tissues, mainly from red meat and milk products. That's a problem, because many individuals possess circulating antibodies against the sugar. As no known lectin specifically binds Neu5Gc, Varki's...