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Name: Laura
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Age: 17
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Question:
The differences between amino acids?



Replies:
First, what they have in common is the basic structure HXN-CHR-CO2H. The differences are the substituent groups N and R. For most of the twenty common biological amino acids, X = Hydrogen. The R groups are what set them apart. In one of the common biological amino acids, proline, the R group curls around and connects to the N atom, so the substituent "X" is the end of the R group.

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Director
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois



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