Choline makes a key nutrient available for baby development

The nutrient choline—shown to have long-term benefits for children whose mothers consume it during pregnancy—also helps the body more efficiently use an omega 3 fatty acid that is essential for fetal brain, cognition ...


A simple blood sample indicates how serious a head trauma is

A simple blood sample to diagnose patients with traumatic brain injury is an innovation enabled by researchers at Örebro University. In a new study, reported in Nature Communications, they have identified biomarkers in the ...

Overweight & Obesity

Blood vessels regulate obesity through a molecular communication

The abundance and function of blood vessels in adipose tissue conditions the development of obesity. This is the surprising conclusion reached by the study led by laboratories from the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute ...


Green synthesis of drug candidate for inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), characterized by a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, is currently treated with steroids and antibody drugs. However, steroids have side effects, such as delayed healing, and antibody ...

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Small molecule

In pharmacology and biochemistry, a small molecule is an organic compound that is not a polymer. Biopolymers such as nucleic acids, proteins, and polysaccharides (such as starch or cellulose) are not small molecules, although their constituent monomers—ribo- or deoxyribonucleotides, amino acids, and monosaccharides, respectively—are often considered to be. Very small oligomers are also usually considered small molecules, such as dinucleotides, peptides such as the antioxidant glutathione, and disaccharides such as sucrose.

While small molecules almost always have a lower molecular weight than biopolymers, a very small protein with a defined fold, such as the artificial ten-amino-acid protein chignolin[1], can indeed be smaller than some exceptionally large small molecules such as triglycerides.

Small molecules can have a variety of biological functions, serving as cell signalling molecules, as tools in molecular biology, as drugs in medicine, and in countless other roles. These compounds can be natural (such as secondary metabolites) or artificial (such as antiviral drugs); they may have a beneficial effect against a disease (such as FDA approved drugs) or may be detrimental (such as teratogens and carcinogens).

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