A multi-disciplinary team of synthetic chemists, biochemists and a former presenter of Antiques Roadshow today unveiled the world’s first single-molecule teapot in an exhibition at the Millenium Dome, Greenwich.
The latest techniques in protein synthesis were employed to build and bond the body, spout, handle and hinged lid, each consisting of a single polypeptide with bound sugar groups. The team overcame several setbacks, including a prototype bearing a close resemblance to a white elephant under the scrutiny of an electron microscope.
Biochemist Dr Ivan Kinch came up with the concept while sitting on a toilet at an observatory in the Attacama Desert. Today he thanked his astrophysicist wife for inspiration and enthused ‘This brings us another step closer to curing cancer’.