Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Amino Acid Song

as i was reading through campbell biology 6th edition at work today (don't tell my boss i spend most of my time at work reading...okay?...we got a deal here?), i came upon the section introducing the 20 amino acids, divided into nonpolar, polar, and electrically charged. in order to remember them all i thought i would write a nutty little mnemonic poem...so here it is:

methionine and tryptophan
and phenylalanine.
isoleucine, glycine then
there's valine, alanine...


...these are all nonpolar, man
and proline is as well.
there's another that i'll add,
it's leucine, 'aint it swell?



glutamine and threonine
and cysteine, tyrosine...
these are polar, serine too
as well asparagine.


now we'll see which ones are charged
electrically for you.
glutamic acid is a one
aspartic acid two.




arginine and histidine
are basic; am i wrong?
as is lysine now we're done
the amino acid song.



...and so here is the actual song. it didn't have to be this melody but i figured...what the hell, i can't really sing anyway so i'll just do something basic (as opposed to acidic).


humans can make about half of the 20 amino acids in proteins. the rest are essential amino acids (those which our cells cannot synthesize) that must be obtained from dietary sources.

the following is a list of the essential amino acids:

methionine
valine
threonine
phenylalanine
leucine
isoleucine
tryptophan
lysine

corn (and other grains) have the first six; beans (and other legumes) have all of them except for methionine.
therefore, a well balanced diet of fruits and vegetables that includes grains and legumes, will give a person all the essential amino acids they need. which of course means, all the protein they need.

look ma...no meat!

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