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Etymology series: amino acids
Can you name the amino acids given the origins of their names?
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* Not strictly an amino acid, but often considered to be one in the literature. Where the reason for a name is not known, no explanatory side note is given.
Enter amino acid:
Origin of name
Greek for 'loosening, dissolution'
< Greek λύσις (lýsis), 'loosening, dissolution' [related: analysis]
Latin for 'watermelon'
< Latin citrullus, 'watermelon', because it was first isolated from watermelons
Greek for 'red'
< Greek ἐρυθρόν (erythrón), 'red' [related: Eritrea, erythrocyte]
Greek for 'bladder'
< Greek κύστις (kýstis), 'bladder', because it is found in the bladder
Greek for 'sweet'
< Greek γλυκύς (glykýs), 'sweet', because of its sweet taste [related: glucose, dulcet]
Greek for 'bird'
< Greek ὄρνις (ornīs), 'bird', because it was isolated from bird urine [related: ornithology]
Greek for 'cheese'
< Greek τῡρός (tȳrós), 'cheese', because it is easily obtained from cheese
*Latin for 'bull'
< Latin taurus, 'bull', because it was first obtained from ox bile
Greek for 'flesh'
< Greek σάρξ (sárx), 'flesh' [related: sarcophagus, sarcastic]
Greek for 'white'
< Greek λευκός (leukós), 'white' [related: leukaemia, leucocyte]
Latin for 'silk'
< Latin sēricum, 'silk', because it was first obtained from silk protein
Greek words for 'rubbing' and 'to appear'
< Greek τρῖψις (trîpsis), 'rubbing' and ϕαίνειν (phaínein), 'to appear'; named for the enzyme trypsin, which was originally produced by rubbing the pancreas with glycerine
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