New ways to generate totipotent-like cells

Totipotency is set to become a key tool for research and future medical applications. Finding efficient ways to generate totipotent-like cells is therefore crucial. In a new study, a group of researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum ...

Unlocking the biochemical treasure chest within microbes

Secondary metabolites—the compounds produced by microbes to mediate internal and external messaging, self-defense, and chemical warfare—are the basis for hundreds of invaluable agricultural, industrial, and medical products. ...

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Metabolite

Metabolites are the intermediates and products of metabolism. The term metabolite is usually restricted to small molecules. A primary metabolite is directly involved in normal growth, development, and reproduction. Alcohol is an example of a primary metabolite produced in large-scale by industrial microbiology. A secondary metabolite is not directly involved in those processes, but usually has an important ecological function. Examples include antibiotics and pigments. Some antibiotics use primary metabolites as precursors, such as actinomycin which is created from the primary metabolite, tryptophan.

Examples of primary metabolites produced by industrial microbiology:

The metabolome forms a large network of metabolic reactions, where outputs from one enzymatic chemical reaction are inputs to other chemical reactions.

Metabolites from chemical compounds, whether inherent or pharmaceutical, are formed as part of the natural biochemical process of degrading and eliminating the compounds. The rate of degradation of a compound is an important determinant of the duration and intensity of its action. Profiling metabolites of pharmaceutical compounds, drug metabolism, is an important part of drug discovery, leading to an understanding of any undesirable side effects.

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