What Are Amino Acids?
The first amino acids happened to be revealed at the beginning of the nineteenth century by French chemists who were famous for having discovered the earliest amino acid – asparagine. One more amino acid which was come across at about the same time was cystine, along with glycine as well as leucine. Furthermore, the English usage of the phrase amino acid dates from the year 1898, as it was discovered that proteins yielded amino acids following enzyme digestion, or the act of processing food or converting it into chemical elements with the help of secreted enzymes.
Thus, what amino acids are, or what they represent, are the units of structure which constitute proteins, joining as one to put together short chains made of polymers termed peptides or lengthier chains known as proteins or polypeptides. Thus, the manner of creating proteins is named translation, consisting of the gradual adding of amino acids onto a developing protein chain by means of a ribozyme (which is also called a ribosome).
There are more than 20 of these acids that can be found in proteins, which in turn have a vital function within the human body, as they serve to control all the processing which occurs in human cells.
What Are The Uses Of Amino Acids?
In short, these acids are used as building blocks for the body, or in other words, they help the body in its basic functioning. There are some 10 (of a total of over 20) essential amino acids, the word essential denoting that they can be produced by the human body. And thus, should it occur that there is an insufficient amount of these acids in the body, then the proteins of the body can be degraded, as the human body has no ability to store surplus amino acids for later use (unlike starch and fat).
As for industry, the main use of these acids in this area is that they are additives, but to animal fodder. The food manufacturing business is also a key user of these acids, especially of, for instance, glutamic acid, which is known as a flavor enhancer, and also Aspartame, the famous low-calorie substitute for sugar.
The Single And 3 Letter Amino Acid Codes
The ten amino acids – called the conditionally essential or non-essential amino acids – which the body is able to produce, are the following:
The essential amino acids, which are called thus not because they are more important than the others, but because they need to be consumed via the diet and of which there are ten, are as follows:
It is very important for all those studying the life sciences to be very well acquainted with the make-up and structures as well as the chemistry of all the amino acids, along with the other building blocks of biological molecules. If there is insufficient knowledge of these vital and essential parts of protein, it may very well not be possible to reflect about or discuss proteins and enzymes in any logical way, or even the nucleic acids, which are the building blocks of all living organisms and which include DNA.