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15. Amino Acids

Amino Acids


Humans use 20 different amino acids as building blocks to make the thousands of proteins found within the body. Each amino acid has the same basic structure with a central carbon atom that has four groups attached. Three of the groups are the same in every amino acid: one is a single hydrogen, one is an amino group that acts like a hook, and one is a carboxyl group that acts like an eye. The fourth group is a side chain, which is unique for every amino acid.