Lab antibody, antiviral research aids COVID-19 response

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists are contributing to the global fight against COVID-19 by combining artificial intelligence/machine learning, bioinformatics and supercomputing to help discover candidates ...

Cleaving through the heart of viral infections

A novel CRISPR/Cas system that can efficiently attack and destroy several prolific plant viruses has been developed by KAUST using tobacco plants and is now being extended to rice and other crops.

Advancing gene therapies: PIP pip hurray!

A new compound has the potential to bind to DNA and activate genes, which could lead to new treatments for cancers and hereditary diseases. Zutao Yu, Ganesh Pandian Namasivayam, and Hiroshi Sugiyama of Kyoto University's ...

Rare lizard fossil preserved in amber

The tiny forefoot of a lizard of the genus Anolis was trapped in amber about 15 to 20 million years ago. Every detail of this rare fossil is visible under the microscope. But the seemingly very good condition is deceptive: ...

Porous liquid holds bigger molecules

An international team of chemists has developed a method for creating an ionic-liquid, porous, tetrahedral coordination cage that holds larger molecules than other porous liquids. In their paper published in the journal Nature ...

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Small molecule

In pharmacology and biochemistry, a small molecule is an organic compound that is not a polymer. Biopolymers such as nucleic acids, proteins, and polysaccharides (such as starch or cellulose) are not small molecules, although their constituent monomers—ribo- or deoxyribonucleotides, amino acids, and monosaccharides, respectively—are often considered to be. Very small oligomers are also usually considered small molecules, such as dinucleotides, peptides such as the antioxidant glutathione, and disaccharides such as sucrose.

While small molecules almost always have a lower molecular weight than biopolymers, a very small protein with a defined fold, such as the artificial ten-amino-acid protein chignolin[1], can indeed be smaller than some exceptionally large small molecules such as triglycerides.

Small molecules can have a variety of biological functions, serving as cell signalling molecules, as tools in molecular biology, as drugs in medicine, and in countless other roles. These compounds can be natural (such as secondary metabolites) or artificial (such as antiviral drugs); they may have a beneficial effect against a disease (such as FDA approved drugs) or may be detrimental (such as teratogens and carcinogens).

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