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Amino acids are the building blocks of peptides and proteins. All amino acids contain an amine group, a carboxylic acid group, and a side-chain that varies for each amino acid. The side chains differ in polarity and pKa and are important to both protein structure and function. Amino acids can be classified into groups based on the chemical properties of their side chains: aliphatic, aromatic, basic, and acidic, and neutral. L-stereochemistry overwhelmingly predominates amino acids found in nature. Twenty amino acids are directly encoded by the genetic code of eukaryotes. Alfa Aesar offers a full line of amino acids in different grades and purities. We also offer a large range of amino acid derivatives to aid in the study of how amino acid modifications affect protein activity, structure and function.