definitions - starting with amino acids

Kurt Giles (
Wed, 29 May 1996 16:14:31 +0200

Firstly a couple of general points.

For those of you that haven't bookmarked them yet, the definitions are at:

These will be constantly updated as decisions are made on term definitions.

I've tried to edit the definitions so that the term being defined is not
included in the definition. Many definitions were of the format:


[term] is.......

There may still be a couple left, so please point them out if you see them.
Where the term is an acronym, should the full name be used as the term (even
when the acronym is in common usage - SCOP is a good example)?

The definitions of the individual amino acids are probably one of the most
important to get sorted out first.

If a molecular formula is going to be shown, is it really necessary in the
definition to state that it has, for example, a polar side chain. Some level of
knowledge must be assumed for the users, since going for the lowest common
denominator, i.e. having to explain everything, would mean it's of little use
to the users its intended for (people on the PPS course and those of a similar
level of understanding. If people can't work that a side chain is polar, by
having its molacular structure, are these really the people we're doing the
glossary for?


                              Dr. Kurt Giles                     
  Department of Structural Biology   |  e-mail:
  Weizmann Institute of Science      |     vox: +972-8-9342647
  76100 Rehovot, Israel              |     fax: +972-8-9344159
           ** **