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The PolyModEfyer

Be a bug! Cut down complex sugar chains to enjoy the sweetness of simple sugars! Are you quick and smart enough to win this game?
This is science, and it is addictive. Bacteria have a sweet tooth but life as a bacterium is tough. Sugars are everywhere, but they are caught up in long and complex sugar chains which our bugs cannot digest. But if you cut them down first with a set of tools (enzymes) into simple sugar units - hmmm! Each of the four complex sugar chains in this game requires a different set of enzymes, and you need to use them in the right order to get to the sweet food you crave.
The PolyModEfyer is not only a game, it is food science. Complex sugars are part of your daily food, not only as fibers in your muesli, they also make ketchup come out of the bottle only if you shake it, and they give your ice cream this special mouthfeel. Plants and all other organisms use enzymes to produce the complex sugar chains, and we (and others) digest them in our guts using enzymes to feed the cells of our body. Food and pharmaceutical industries increasingly use natural enzymes to tailor the complex sugars to their and our needs, instead of using problematic chemistry. PolyModE was a European research project searching for some such enzymes, and finding them, too. This game is to introduce you into the fascinating world of sugars – if you enjoy it, you might also want to learn more on the project website.









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