Light micrograph of crystals of butyloxycarbonyl lysine (BOC lysine), used in the manufacture of synthetic peptides. A peptide is a chain of two or more amino acids. Each peptide usually has an N-terminal amino acid (bearing a free amino group) and a C-terminal amino acid (bearing a free carboxyl group). Here, a BOC group has been latched onto the N-terminal of lysine, a naturally occurring amino acid, so rendering it inactive. The BOC group may then be removed with an acid allowing the C-terminal of another amino acid to take its place. Interference contrast. Magnification: x200 at 35mm size.
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