The Sceptical Chymist | ACS: The Imperiali Code

Published in Chemistry

The Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry symposium given this afternoon in the Division of Organic Chemistry recognized and honored the outstanding research accomplishments of Barbara Imperiali of MIT, in addition to featuring fantastic talks from Virginia Cornish, Ben Cravatt, and Dennis Dougherty.

Professor Dougherty of Caltech recounted a very amusing but quite helpful trick taught to him by Professor Imperiali (from her days as a professor at Caltech) for remembering the 1-letter amino acid code of tryptophan, W, which is to think of “twyptophan” (as if you were Elmer Fudd). Now I know I will never have future trouble remembering what “W” stands for!

I wish I had a trick for remembering the 1-letter codes of glutamine and glutamic acid (I’m Googling this as I write, I’m embarrassed to say, since I honestly can’t remember which is which!). Does anyone have any helpful tips for remembering these or any of the 1-letter amino acid codes? Please share!

Allison Doerr (Assistant Editor, Nature Methods)

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