11 Feb 2017

Professor David Leigh: Molecular machines' promise for humanity

From Saturday Morning, 9:05 am on 11 February 2017
Professor David Leigh

Professor David Leigh. Photo: Supplied

Professor David A Leigh is the Royal Society Research Professor & Sir Samuel Hall Chair of Chemistry at the School of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. He is in New Zealand to speak at the AMN8 Conference on Advanced Materials and Technology, sharing his research on nanotechnology and molecular machines - machines created by chemistry that manipulate the properties of some of the smallest elements known to man. His work on manipulating molecules has led to all sorts of breakthroughs, including tying molecules into complex knots which could give materials "exceptional versatility" or the ability to be shock absorbent. The knotted molecules mimic the complex knots found in proteins and DNA, helping change their properties. But as he tells Kim, the potential of the technology is only just being discovered.