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Chemists find new way to make unnatural amino acids

June 24, 2020

Chemists have found a way to turn alcohol into amino acids, the building blocks of life.

In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Chemistry, researchers explained the transformation, which involves selectively identifying and replacing molecular bonds with unprecedented precision. The finding may make it easier to create some medications by expanding the types of new amino acids that can be made to more quickly build those medicines.

Amino acids, which make up our proteins, are also sometimes used as building blocks in medicines, but creating new, artificial ones with correct three-dimensional geometry in a laboratory for pharmaceutical purposes can be an expensive and lengthy process.

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