Reclaiming poetic beauty in practice

The Krebs cycle. All those three letter acronyms and chemical reactions with an ‘oxyl’ in the name, those multiple branching arrows and scattered catalysts and miserably abandoned by-products. I shudder as I recall trying to memorise whether succinyl-CoA synthetase acted on GDP or NADH, or how to spell alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. All of which to be (imperfectly) regurgitated onto the answer booklet in my second-year biochemistry exam and promptly forgotten in the pub at the end of exam week.

(To prove my point, there are no papers in the 23

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