Medical research

The death marker protein cleans up your muscles after exercise

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen's Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports have demonstrated that physical activity prompts a clean-up of muscles as the protein ubiquitin tags onto worn-out proteins, causing ...

Medical research

New LAT1 inhibitor can boost cancer treatment

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland have developed a new and promising drug compound for the treatment of cancer that inhibits natural amino acids from entering cancer cells. Since amino acids are essential for ...

Medical research

Predicting and preventing serious COVID-19 symptoms

Scientists in Leiden are looking for signals in blood samples to predict whether patients will develop serious COVID-19 symptoms or not. Based on that knowledge, they will be able to propose targeted therapies to prevent ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Coronavirus structure clue to high infection rate

Cornell University researchers studying the structure of the virus that causes COVID-19 have found a unique feature that could explain why it is so transmissible between people.

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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