ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIO ROMERO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cysteine crystals. Polarized light micrograph of single and aggregate crystals of the non-essential amino acid cysteine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Non-essential amino acids are those that can be synthesised by the body and so do not need to come from the diet. Cysteine is an important structural and functional component of many enzymes (proteins that catalyse metabolic reactions). Magnification: x45 when printed at 10 centimetres tall.
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