Sugars and their analogues can be found as antivirals, anticancers and antidiabetic drugs - as well as sweetners, polymers and a host of other useful products.
Sugars are pretty simple in some respects - they're made from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and not much else. Unfortunately, this also makes them a pain to synthesize: e.g. there are eight diasteriomeric D-hexose sugars (and of their equivalent L-hexoses too!) that vary only by how their alcohol groups are arrayed. Fortunately, biocatalysis can help - enzymes are great at stereochemistry after all.
In our new publication (Hartley et al., 2017), Carol Hartley and coworkers compare cascades of enzymes for the first step of sugar synthesis.