Scientists reveal source of internal mildew in sunflower seeds

A research team led by Prof. Wu Yuejin from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has revealed the source of internal mildew in sunflower seeds for the first time and proposed ...

With roommates, it's all about chemistry, molecularly speaking

Within and upon every human being reside countless microorganisms—the microbiota that help shape and direct the lives of their hosts. A similar phenomenon occurs between people, microbes and the homes they share.

Can we save more lives if we let resistant bacteria live?

Antibiotic resistance is a ticking timebomb under public health. The WHO predicts that in 2050 more people will die from infections than from cancer—and we are talking about infections that we today consider harmless; infections ...

Newly discovered lipid prevents cell death

Programmed cell death is an important tool that an organism uses to keep itself healthy. When a cell does not function as it should, various stress reactions are activated. The goal of these reactions is to restore the original ...

Ocean organism could be key to animal-free meat

A fungus-like microbe taken from the pristine waters of South Australia could prove to be a vital ingredient in making everything from nutritional supplements, medicines and biofuels to animal-free meat, according to Flinders ...

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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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