DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR TIM EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Somatotropin. Computer model of a molecule of the human growth hormone (hGH) somatotropin (or somatotrophin). The atoms (spheres) of this large molecule are colour-coded: carbon (green), sulphur (yellow), nitrogen (blue), hydrogen (grey) and oxygen (red). This hormone is a protein, and is made up of 191 amino acids and has a molecular weight of 21,864. It is secreted from the anterior part of the pituitary gland. It plays a vital role in the normal growth of a human. It is also used to retard the effects of ageing, though a possible side-effect is an increased risk of cancer. It is also abused as a drug by athletes wanting to build muscle and improve sporting performances.
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