Part 3: Advanced technology
Professor David Stuart studies the structure of viruses at the molecular level. His work is particularly focused on virus-receptor interaction and the basic puzzles of virus assembly, and he uses a range of structural biology methods to answer these questions.
Cutting edge structural biology research is paving the way for a new vaccine for foot and mouth disease, which could revolutionise farming on a global scale.
The Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire is essentially an ultra-bright, high-powered microscope that allows biologists to study the exact three-dimensional structure of a protein one billionth of the size of a pinhead!
In just a few hours at Diamond, scientists can get enough information to determine the atomic structure of a complex structure, such as an empty model of a virus shell for the development of vaccines. This is just one example of how advanced X-ray technology can lead to improved drug design for the future.
But where to from here? Find out more in our Part 4: A new age of drug discovery