The Web of Life (7-2-1) Sweet Talk

 Sweet Talk

Telltale surface sugars enable cells to identify and interact with one another. ~ Israeli biochemists Nathan Sharon & Halina Lis

All cells wear a coat of sugar molecules (glycans) as part of surface glycoproteins. Glycans stick out like an antennae forest. Glycans can cluster and thereby channel water over a surprisingly large range: tens of nanometers (a water molecule is a mere 0.3 nm). By this, sugar facilitates communication through intercellular fluid.