Amino-acids are organic acids with an amino group in the alpha position (alpha-acids). They are the structural units of proteins and involved in many biochemical pathways.

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Amino Acid requirement + intake in relation to diet + meat type

I was arguing with a friend: I said: the Yulin festivals cannot be condemned by western culture, as we also kill animals in equally cruel ways. She said: not only is it cruel, but the dogs (and ...
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Needleman Algorithm for Optimal Alignment of two Amino Acid Sequences

I want to compute the optimal alignment of two amino acid sequences as per the following definition from a patent: "The percentage of identity between two peptidic or nucleotidic sequences is a ...
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Using exogenous genes to reduce the set of essential amino acids?

Various organisms have sets of essential amino acids that they cannot synthesize themselves, but rather that they must obtain from food. Humans have 9 of these amino acids. However, obviously certain ...
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Amino acids in human cancer cells expose dextrorotation?

I would like to know if the amino acids in the human cancer cells are dextrorotatory or levorotatory. I mean the majority of them. They expose levorotation just like the amino acids in the normal ...
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Is there any evolutionary advantage of selection of L-amino acid over D-amino acid?

After listening to a scientific talk, I had this question that why in the natural selection process, are the L-amino acids selected over the D- form. However, we still we produce D-amino acids; ...
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How does beta branching stop alpha helices from forming?

I am told that beta branching interferes with alpha helix formation. Problem is that I don't see how beta branching has anything to do with alpha-helix formation. Beta-branches are on the outside of ...
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Why are amino acids in biology homochiral?

Why are nearly all amino acids in organisms left-handed (exception is glycine which has no isomer) when abiotic samples typical have an even mix of left- and right-handed molecules?
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If human proteins are synthesized from only 20 different amino acids, then how can there be such variety of proteins in human cells?

I know that human proteins are synthesized using only 20 different amino acids. However, how can there be thousands of different proteins in human cells, if we only use 20 amino acids to make them?
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Are alpha-ketoglutarate and glutamate involved in all transamination reactions?

Is it true that for all biochemical transamination reactions, that alpha-ketoglutarate and glutamate serve as the amino group acceptor and donor, respectively? If this is true, then is it safe to ...
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Question about DNP derivatives of amino acids (specifically epsilon-DNP-lysine)

I have a pretty basic biochemistry question but am having trouble finding the answer to it: Normally, 1-Fluoro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNFB) reacts with just the amino terminus of amino acids. However, ...
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Why would the citrulline content of the watermelon be so high?

Citrulline is a non-proteinogenic amino acid (that is, citrulline is an amino acid that is not coded for in mRNA), and it is an important metabolic intermediate in the Urea Cycle. The Urea Cycle is ...
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Where can you find the quantities of each amino acid of a particular protein or food?

Taking a potato as an example. If I wanted to know how much µg or % of each of it's amino acids there are in 1 gram of pure potato protein, where can I find this information? Is there a freely ...
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Why do asparagine and glutamine have two different abbreviations? [closed]

I'm looking at amino acid abbreviations and on every site I visit, asparagine and glutamine have two different abbreviations. Is there a reason for this? Do they represent different forms of the amino ...
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Histidine aromaticity

I understand that the imidazole ring in histidine is aromatic. I also realize that it retains it's aromaticity when protonated. I am wondering why it is not mentioned at all in basic text books such ...
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Is it possible to grow E. coli K12 with algal amino acids as the sole carbon source?

Instead of glucose or glycerol, is it possible for E coli to grow on an amino acid mixture as the sole carbon source and, if so, what should the concentration be?
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On which amino-acids residue is the SDS acting on?

I would like to know exactly what is the mechanisme of the SDS, and I would like to know on which amino-acids residue the SDS is acting on. Can you help me please ? Thank you in advance !
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Is Roundup toxic?

Roundup, as we all know, is a herbicide that kills weeds. It does this by preventing the production of amino acids in plants. One of these amino acids is tyrosine. Tyrosine is a nonessential amino ...
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Effects of Acids and Bases on protozoa

Why is it that when you pour acid (HCl) on a culture of Euglena gracilis in an aqueous environment the protozoa begins to swell and when you pour a base (NaOH), it maintains its shape? I feel like ...
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What are 'acid stable' amino acids?

I tend to see terms amino acid, acid stable amino acid, and free amino acids used often in ...
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What signals a ribosome to stop production when the cell is out of available amino acids?

In the production of a protein molecule, there have to be a ready supply of free-floating amino acids. When a given codon for adjoining, say, serine comes up, how are the serine molecules found out of ...
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What is the last heavy atom of an amino acid?

I'm a electrical engineer and I'm learning about bioinformatics. I was reading this paper that uses the last heavy atom to search for active sites of a protein but what would be a heavy atom? Is it ...
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Properties that can be derived from amino acid sequences [closed]

What are the properties that can be derived from an amino acid sequence apart from those mentioned in the website? In the mentioned website, the properties that can be calculated from amino acid ...
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Why are VAL, MET and ALA substitutions commonly used for protein behaviour and function studies?

I have seen that amino acids are commonly replaced with VAL, MET or ALA to study the effects of these specific substitutions. Why are these specific amino acids used in particular, what are the ...
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Is consuming proteins different vs. consuming amino-acids and how?

Yesterday I had a discussion with a friend. He said that consuming proteins and amino-acids is different. He said that those who grow muscles would agree on that. I wanted to argue against that ...
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Why is leucine amino acid used the most in proteins and tryptophan the least?

The amino acid leucine, is used in proteins more than others. Leucine with 9.1 percent (its average in more than 1.150 different proteins) is used most and tryptophan with 1.4 percent is used less ...
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Histidine - why essential for children?

Why is histidine an essential amino acid for children but not for adults ? What changes in the body occur which lead to the formation of histidine in adults but not in children ? What causes these ...
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Determining the appropriate bioconjugate

I'm thinking of crosslinking two proteins. The crystallographic nature of the interaction and the binding motif for each molecule is know. The paper says the intermolecular contacts (over 50; van der ...
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Consequence of Plants as Incomplete Protein Source

Some years ago, in a 1000~ level biology course we learned that the DNA essentially encodes formulas for creating proteins from amino acids. While the human body can synthesize many many amino acids, ...
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Why 22 amino acids instead of 64?

This question got me thinking about amino acids and the ambiguity in the genetic code. With 4 nucleotides in RNA and 3 per codon, there are 64 codons. However, these 64 codons only code for 22 (...
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Is there a biological environment that we can we assume glutamate exists as glutamic acid?

In the body we almost always assume that glutamate exists as glutamate rather than glutamic acid. It is so commonly glutamate yet glutamic acid and glutamate share the abbreviations of Glu and E. From ...
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Amino acid compatibility

The (human) genetic code encodes 20 amino acids. They form a protein using peptide bonds. Each amino acid has a carboxyl group (COOH) and an amino group (NH2) that can potentially form a peptide bond. ...
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What is the explanation for the smaller number of tRNA than codons?

Translation, or decoding, of the four-nucleotide language of DNA and mRNA into the 20–amino acid language of proteins requires tRNAs and enzymes called aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. To participate ...
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D/L configuration for amino acids

Why would this be "L-cysteine"? This is taken from the answer key for my biochem final. From what I understand if the -NH3(+) is on the left then the alpha-amino acid is in the L-configuration. ...
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Is cysteine deficiency possible?

Is there such a thing as cysteine deficiency in humans or other mammals? What effects would such a deficiency have? As I understand it, most cysteine for humans comes from dietary sources, though it ...
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Is there a cellular mechanism that detects Ribosomal damage?

What kinds of options, if any, do cells (Eukary and Prokary) have for detecting, and repairing damage in Ribosomes (of all types)? I am curious as to what happens when a cell sustains damage of some ...
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Why are 3 nucleotides used as codons for amino-acid mapping in DNA?

DNA is made of 4 unique nucleotides. When coding for a protein, a sequence of 3 nucleotides is used to code for each amino acid. Why are codons 3 nucleotides in length? A related question can be ...
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Edman method to identify peptides with Phenylisothiocyanate (PTH)

We all know that in this method the PTH reacts with the first amino acid (aa) from the N-terminal to the peptide and separates from it giving PTH-aa so that we can know the amino acids sequence in the ...
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Protein Design - Target Structure Specification

I'm curious about how protein structures are defined in general, but in particular, I'm wondering how a target structure can be specified without knowing the amino acid sequence. For example, in ...
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Thermodynamics of Forming Peptide Bonds

Which of the following shows the correct changes in thermodynamic properties for a chemical reaction in which amino acids are linked to form a protein? A) +ΔH, +ΔS, +ΔG B) +ΔH, -ΔS, -ΔG C) +...
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How many different kinds of polypeptides, each composed of 12 amino acids, could be synthesized using the 20 common amino acids?

How many different kinds of polypeptides, each composed of 12 amino acids, could be synthesized using the 20 common amino acids? The book's answer is $20^{12}$. However, I disagree. This result ...
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Specificity of Protein Kinases in Signaling Pathways..?

In most of the signaling pathways the activated receptor when activates Protein Kinase through the action of secondary messenger, then these protein kinases almost always phosphorylate on the specific ...
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Are There Rules for How Proteins Are Formed?

Proteins are formed by stringing together different amino acids. Different amino acids have different properties (such as being attracted to or repelled by water, positively or negatively charged, ...
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Which three functional groups are found in the general structure of amino acids? [closed]

Yes, I know, not two, but THREE. EDIT: Yes, sorry but I did quite a bit of research, searching my notes and textbook for the answer, but all I could find was TWO functional groups as a opposed to the ...
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How are amino acids neutral at physiological pH?

Amino acids with non‐ionizable side chains are zwitterions when they are at physiological pH, pH 7.4. This is what my book says. But I do not understand why. The Pka for a carboxyl group is around 3 ...
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Are there any effects of elevated Cysteine levels on cognitive function?

I'm looking at this diagram of homocysteine metabolism and see two distinct pathways that the amino acid may get metabolized to: with vitamin B12 it gets converted back into methionine, while with B6 ...
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Hormones and body mass

I was wondering how some animals (bulls, elephants etc.) become so large by only eating grass or plant based material and why some humans can build large amounts of muscle and mass without a proper ...
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bacterial cell wall degradation in humans

can human degrade the D-amino acid present in bacterial cell wall, I'm confused about it i have read somewhere that human can do so.If yes than why we need antibiotic to kill bacteria???If it is not ...
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What is the recommended PPM when foliar feeding L-amino acids

It is said that L-amino acids such as histidine, methionine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, asparagine and glutamine can revert plant stomata closure, increase quality of fruits and assist maturity. It ...
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Converting Ensembl Compara gene tree DNA alignment to corresponding amino acid alignment

I have Ensembl compara gene tree alignments (Compara.gene_trees.57.fasta.gz downloaded from ftp://ftp.ensembl.org/pub/release-57/emf/ensembl-compara/homologies/) in nucleotide format. According to ...
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What does the term 'modified residue position' in phosphorylation mean?

Does it mean the position of the amino acid in the protein sequence, or something else? For example, I came across the phrase "S 368 phosphoryation" where S is the modified residue and 368 is the ...