Dietary nucleotide offers new insight for sow breeding

Maternal nutrition status plays a vital role in the growth and development of the major fetal organ systems, and fetal growth is dramatically increased during late gestation while nutrient requirements of sows increase significantly ...

The missing link: Fatty acid metabolism impacts plant immunity

That healthy salad you ate for lunch contains fatty acids—surprised? Fatty acids, lipids, and fats in our food may sound undesirable, but they are foundational to human life and to the plants we consume. Their interaction ...

Engineering duckweed to produce oil for biofuels, bioproducts

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have engineered duckweed to produce high yields of oil. The team added genes to one of ...

More than superfood: Researchers study use of duckweed

In Asia, duckweed has been used as a food for a long time. The research group CritMET: Critical Metals for Enabling Technologies at Jacobs University Bremen recently discovered that duckweed is not only rich in nutrients, ...

How old is that fingerprint?

Forensic dramas on TV make it seem easy to determine when fingerprints were left at the scene of a crime. In reality, the oils in fingerprints degrade over time, and it's difficult to figure out their age. Now, researchers ...

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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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