Amino acids and Resins: An amino acid is a type of organic molecule that consists of a basic amino group (−NH2), an acidic carboxyl group (−COOH), and a unique organic R group (or side chain) for each amino acid. The term amino acid is actually short for α-amino [alpha-amino] carboxylic acid. Each molecule has a central carbon (C) atom, known as the α-carbon, which is connected to both an amino group and a carboxyl group. The remaining two bonds of the α-carbon atom are usually filled by a hydrogen (H) atom and the R group. Amino acids play a crucial role as the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are responsible for catalyzing the majority of chemical reactions that take place within cells. They also contribute to the structural components of cells and aid in cell-to-cell binding to form tissues. Amino acids have various uses beyond being protein building blocks. Commercial production of amino acids began in 1908 with the extraction of monosodium glutamate from seaweed. This led to the industrial production of MSG through bacterial fermentation. Other amino acids like glycine, cysteine, and D,L-alanine are used as food additives and flavor enhancers. Amino acids also have therapeutic applications in nutrition and pharmaceuticals, such as L-dopa for Parkinson’s disease and glutamine for peptic ulcers.

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