Amino Acid Peptide Linkage Formation and Hydrolysis Reactions

Amino acids are the building blocks of living things. This makes the process of making/breaking bonds critical to understanding biological sciences. This video walks you through the formation of an amino acid bond – the peptide bond, as well as breaking the bonds through hydrolysis. (Watch on YouTube: Peptide Linkage/Hydrolysis. Click CC for transcription) Links […]

Peptide Charge and Isoelectric Point Shortcut

Charge and isoelectric point of peptides are determined by the individual amino acids. Both the backbone groups (N and C terminus) and the individual side chains. The previous video showed you how to find the charge and pI of individual amino acids. This tutorial shows you how to find them for a group of amino […]

Isoelectric Point of Amino Acids with MCAT shortcut

Isoelectric point calculations are critical in your biochemistry course and MCAT prep. The isoelectric point or pI gives you the pH at which the molecule has a net zero charge. This comes from a balance of protonation and deprotonation so that all positive and negative charges cancel out. This video shows you how to calculate […]

Strecker Synthesis of Amino Acids

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 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 […]

Amino Acids Practice Quiz

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 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 2 Hydrophobic Non-Polar Side Chains

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

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 […]

Henderson-Hasselbalch MCAT Trick for Buffer pH Without a Calculator

When it comes to buffer calculations on the MCAT panicked thoughts of detailed Henderson-Hasselbalch calculations and tedious ice charts may come to mind. But it doesn’t have to be. Since you’re not allowed a calculator on the MCAT it’s important to UNDERSTAND the logic behind these calculations. This video shows you my quick shortcut for estimating […]