Strecker Synthesis of Amino Acids

Strecker Synthesis of Alpha Amino Acids MCAT Tutorial Video

Strecker Synthesis is one of the first laboratory methods for synthesizing an alpha amino acid. Strecker synthesis starts out with a nucleophilic addition of nitrogen to an aldehyde followed by a SECOND nucleophilic addition of cyanide (nitrile group) to the imine intermediate. This video walks you through the overall reaction followed by a step by step […]

Gabriel Malonic Ester Synthesis of Alpha Amino Acids

Gabriel Malonic Ester Alpha Amino Acid Synthesis Tutorial Video

Gabriel Malonic Ester Synthesis is the second AAMC required reaction for the synthesis of alpha amino acids. As the name implies, this reaction utilizes Gabriel Amine Synthesis and Malonic Ester Synthesis, but with a twist. This video shows you the reaction overview followed by a step by step breakdown of important mechanism steps. (Watch on […]

How to Memorize MCAT Equations

Memorizing MCAT Equations

Memorizing equations is just one small aspect of the MCAT puzzle. Yes, the MCAT it is an exam of data interpretation, logic, and reasoning with content foundation at its core. But equations are essential parts of that core! While equations show up most frequently in Physics and General Chemistry, they also grace you with their […]

Long Term MCAT Memorization Using the Audio Summary Strategy

Audio Strategy For Long Term MCAT Memorization

The MCAT will test you on 8 different subjects over a period of 7.5 hours. That’s a LOT of information which requires a LOT of prep time. In addition to putting in the study hours to LEARN the information, you also have to ensure you don’t forget the material you’ve already covered. You cannot afford to […]

Amino Acids Practice Quiz

pka amino acids table

Amino acids are a big deal on the MCAT. You can’t simply ‘get’ the concept. You must be able to quickly recall information and apply them to questions. The quiz below will help you figure out if you’ve mastered this topic. The questions are simple but thorough. You either know it, or you don’t! Be sure […]

Stereochemistry of Amino Acids RS to DL

Amino Acid Stereochemistry RS DL

Amino acids are biologically active molecules. 19 of the 20 common amino acids have a chiral alpha carbon, 2 amino acids (Leucine and Threonine) have a second chiral center in their side chain. This video shows you how to Find R/S for 3-D amino acids Find R/S and D/L for amino acid Fischer projections Trick […]

Amino Acids 3 Polar Acidic and Basic Side Chains

Polar Acidic and Basic Amino Acids tutorial video by Leah Fisch

Hydrophilic amino acids are much more reactive and interactive compared to hydrophobic side chains. This video breaks down the hydrophilic amino acids including polar neutral, acidic and basic side chains. (Watch on YouTube: Polar/Acidic/Basic Amino Acids. Click cc on the bottom right for video transcript) Referenced in this video: Acid Base Tutorial Series Zwitterion Tutorial […]

Amino Acids 2 Hydrophobic Non-Polar Side Chains

Hydrophobic Amino Acids Polar Neutral Side Chains Tutorial Video Leah Fisch

Hydrophobic amino acids have neutral non-polar side chains. Given the lack of polarity these groups have no means to interact with an aqueous biological environment. This video breaks down each of the hydrophobic amino acids to help you understand the name, 1 and 3 letter abbreviations, and side chain functional groups. (Watch on YouTube: Hydrophobic […]

Introduction to Amino Acids in MCAT Biochemistry

Amino Acids Tutorial Video MCAT Biochemistry Leah4sci

Understanding the structure and nature of Amino Acids is critical to understanding biological molecules and reactions as they are tested on the MCAT. This is the first in an in-depth MCAT Amino Acid series covering the basic structure and side chain characteristics. (Watch on YouTube: Amino Acids Intro Click cc on the bottom right for video […]