Health

On nutrition: Questions about incomplete proteins

Reader Ann F. writes: "I remember learning a bit about incomplete proteins a long time ago, and that if you combined, say, beans with corn, you had a complete protein, much as if you'd eaten eggs, or meat, or cottage cheese. ...

Health informatics

Biologists train AI to generate medicines and vaccines

Scientists have developed artificial intelligence software that can create proteins that may be useful as vaccines, cancer treatments, or even tools for pulling carbon pollution out of the air.

Immunology

A novel COVID-19 vaccine using modified bacterial DNA

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues elsewhere, describe a different way to build a COVID-19 vaccine, one that would, in theory, remain effective against new and emerging variants ...

Oncology & Cancer

New metabolic profile in patients with acute myeloid leukemia

An article published in the journal Nature Communications describes a specific metabolic adaptation in some patients with acute myeloid leukemia affected by tandem mutations in the FLT3 gene. The findings, which could shed ...

Medical research

A new approach to fighting the Marburg virus

A research team led by Kyoto University is attempting to take the Marburg virus by its horns using recently gained knowledge of its core structure.

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Amino acid

In chemistry, an amino acid is a molecule containing both amine and carboxyl functional groups. These molecules are particularly important in biochemistry, where this term refers to alpha-amino acids with the general formula H2NCHRCOOH, where R is an organic substituent. In the alpha amino acids, the amino and carboxylate groups are attached to the same carbon atom, which is called the α–carbon. The various alpha amino acids differ in which side chain (R group) is attached to their alpha carbon. They can vary in size from just a hydrogen atom in glycine through a methyl group in alanine to a large heterocyclic group in tryptophan.

Amino acids are critical to life, and have a variety of roles in metabolism. One particularly important function is as the building blocks of proteins, which are linear chains of amino acids. Amino acids are also important in many other biological molecules, such as forming parts of coenzymes, as in S-adenosylmethionine, or as precursors for the biosynthesis of molecules such as heme. Due to this central role in biochemistry, amino acids are very important in nutrition.

Amino acids are commonly used in food technology and industry. For example, monosodium glutamate is a common flavor enhancer that gives foods the taste called umami. Beyond the amino acids that are found in all forms of life, amino acids are also used in industry. Applications include the production of biodegradable plastics, drugs and chiral catalysts.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA