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An introduction to peptides and amino acids.

You may have heard of peptides and amino acids, but what are they really?

Both of them play an incredibly important role in our bodies, and also in the world of scientific research. To understand exactly why, let’s dive deeper into what peptides and amino acids are, learn about their importance in scientific research, and provide some case studies and examples of their applications.

What Are Amino Acids?

In order to understand peptides, lets first take a quick trip back to Biology class and learn about amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. They are vital for many bodily functions, including building muscles, repairing tissues, and supporting our complex immune systems. There are 20 standard amino acids, which can be categorized into three distinct groups:

  1. Essential amino acids – these amino acids can’t be produced by the body and must be obtained from food
  2. Non-essential amino acids – These amino acids CAN be produced by the body.
  3. Conditional amino acids – These amino acids are usually non-essential but become essential in times of illness or heightened stress.

What Are Peptides?

Now that we have a basic understanding of amino acids, let’s jump into peptides. In very simple terms, peptides are short chains of amino acids. Depending on the specific sequence of amino acids, each peptide can have different functions in the body. In the world of science and research, peptides are valuable for studying cell signaling and enzyme function – plus, they have a variety of therapeutic applications.

What about Synthetic Peptides?

If you see the term ‘synthetic peptides’, all it means is that the peptides in question are lab-created. Synthetic peptides are very useful for research because they are precisely designed, have a high level of purity, and can be customized for specific purposes. The natural peptides found in our bodies play an essential role in many biological processes, but their level of purity and composition can vary. This makes them far more difficult to use as research peptides.

Why Research Peptides?

Peptides play a significant role in scientific research due to their versatility and specificity. Here are some reasons why research peptides are so essential:

  • Modeling Protein-Protein Interactions: Peptides can help us understand how proteins interact within cells. For example, a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry demonstrated that synthetic peptides can be used in cancer research to disrupt certain protein interactions (NCBI).
  • Drug Development: Peptides can also be used to develop new drugs by mimicking natural processes in the body. One especially cool example of this is the development of peptide-based drugs like exenatide for treating diabetes – a process which was modeled after a hormone found in the Gila monster’s saliva​​ (NHM).
  • Biomarker Discovery: Peptides also assist us in identifying markers for certain diseases, making it much easier to diagnose and treat people early. For instance, research published in Clinical Proteomics highlighted how specific peptide markers can be used to detect early-stage ovarian cancer​​ (NIH).

Examples of Specific Research Peptides

The world of research peptides can seem big and complicated. To simplify it, let’s look at a few examples of research peptides and their functions: 


As you can see, peptides and amino acids both play a fundamental role in scientific research. By understanding their specific functions and applications, researchers can better control the processes they study and greatly enhance the significance of their results. If you’re looking for high-quality research peptides crafted to the highest standards and ensuring over 99% purity, you browse our catalog today.


Q: What are research peptides?
A: Research peptides are short chains of amino acids used in scientific research to study biological processes and develop new therapies.

Q: How are peptides different from proteins?
A: Peptides are shorter chains of amino acids, typically less than 50, whereas proteins are longer chains composed of one or more polypeptides.

Q: Why is peptide purity important?
A: High purity ensures that research results are accurate, reliable and free from contaminants that could interfere with experiments.

Q: Can I use research peptides for therapeutic purposes?
A: No, research peptides from Arctic Peptides are strictly for research purposes and not for human consumption or therapeutic use.

Q: How can I verify the quality of peptides from Arctic Peptides?
A: We provide detailed lab test results for each peptide, ensuring transparency and allowing you to verify their quality.

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