New function for plant enzyme could lead to green chemistry

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered a new function in a plant enzyme that could have implications for the design of new chemical catalysts. The enzyme catalyzes, or ...

Handheld device can check if fish oil supplements have expired

Fish oil capsules are a popular health supplement with many health benefits, but concerns have been raised over the quality because omega-3 fatty acids are very prone to oxidation and deterioration on exposure to heat and ...

Dozens of potential new antibiotics discovered with free online app

A new web tool speeds the discovery of drugs to kill Gram-negative bacteria, which are responsible for the overwhelming majority of antibiotic-resistant infections and deaths. The tool also offers insights into discrete chemical ...

Deep sea vents had ideal conditions for origin of life

By creating protocells in hot, alkaline seawater, a UCL-led research team has added to evidence that the origin of life could have been in deep-sea hydrothermal vents rather than shallow pools.

Synthetic compound provides fast screening for potential drugs

A simple assay may benefit drug discovery for treating diabetes, Parkinson's, and Alzheimers disease, as well as studies of functional food and endocrine disruptor report researchers at Okayama University in the Journal of ...

Wily tuberculosis bacteria can vary its diet to infect you longer

Worldwide, approximately one in four people is infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and while overall New Zealand has relatively low rates of TB, Māori and Pacific people are eight times more likely to be affected than ...

Shipment tracking for 'fat parcels' in the body

Without fat, nothing works in the body: Fats serve as energy suppliers and important building blocks, including for the envelopes of living cells. Numerous diseases are related to disorders in fat metabolism such as obesity ...

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Fatty acid

In chemistry, especially biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid often with a long unbranched aliphatic tail (chain), which is either saturated or unsaturated. Carboxylic acids as short as butyric acid (4 carbon atoms) are considered to be fatty acids, whereas fatty acids derived from natural fats and oils may be assumed to have at least eight carbon atoms, caprylic acid (octanoic acid), for example. The most abundant natural fatty acids have an even number of carbon atoms because their biosynthesis involves acetyl-CoA, a coenzyme carrying a two-carbon-atom group (see fatty acid synthesis).

Fatty acids are produced by the hydrolysis of the ester linkages in a fat or biological oil (both of which are triglycerides), with the removal of glycerol. See oleochemicals.

Fatty acids are aliphatic monocarboxylic acids derived from, or contained in esterified form in, an animal or vegetable fat, oil, or wax. Natural fatty acids commonly have a chain of four to 28 carbons (usually unbranched and even numbered), which may be saturated or unsaturated. By extension, the term is sometimes used to embrace all acyclic aliphatic carboxylic acids. This would include acetic acid, which is not usually considered a fatty acid because it is so short that the triglyceride triacetin made from it is substantially miscible with water and is thus not a lipid.

The blend of fatty acids exuded by mammalian skin, together with lactic acid and pyruvic acid, are probably as distinctive as fingerprints, and enable dogs to differentiate between various people. A team from Yale University have in 2009 developed the electronic equivalent of a dog's sense of smell.

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