• In chemistry, an amino acid is any molecule that contains both amine and carboxyl functional groups. In biochemistry, this shorter and more general term is frequently used to refer to alpha amino acids: those amino acids in which the amino and carboxylate functionalities are attached to the same carbon. These amino acids are used as the basic components of proteins. There are twenty "standard" amino acids used by cells in protein biosynthesis that are specified by the general genetic code.

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